shame. Fear. Uncertainty. Despair. These are emotions that we all feel from time to time. For me, this is a battle we fight every day. I can sit here with trembling hands as I write this message now: I have an anxiety disorder. More specifically, I have obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD).
Then why the hell I am releasing this? For a couple of reasons. First, it hurts when I see people struggling with mental illness who think they are alone. I assure you, you’re not. Second, these struggles should not be a secret. Why is it acceptable to discuss any other part of the body experiencing difficulty, except the brain? Why do we feel no shame in telling others that we have the flu, a broken arm or even a more serious condition such as diabetes, however, cases of mental illness usually not shared with many? Why is there a negative stigma around mental illness? It does not say you’re crazy. It does no means you are weird. It does no means that you are inadequate. If you are struggling, that’s fine. You are not alone.
While living with a mental illness certainly is exhausting, is I became the person I am today. A person who has been through a battle. A person who has faced many fears. One person I’m proud.
Here are some things I’ve learned along the way.
1 . it is okay to ask for help.
I am a great advocate of modern medicine use when appropriate. I know some people believe that anxiety is not “serious” enough to medicate. You probably do not understand how bad it can get. While there are lifestyle changes that can certainly help reduce symptoms, that is fine also need medication to live a happy full life.
Imagine having to walk a tightrope between two cliffs above a lake of ravenous sharks. Would you be afraid? Of course! Now imagine if someone told you that her fear of walking on the rope that was false. I’m sure not appreciate the comment. For those who suffer from anxiety disorder, medicine makes these fears ends more manageable. Medicine is certainly not a solution for the whole solution, but it certainly can improve the quality of life of those who suffer.
2. There is no reason to be ashamed.
In recent years, I have come to find that almost everyone knows someone with a mental illness. However, we still do not talk about it, and still the stigma. So we all assume no one could understand and choose to suffer in silence. Generally, people are surprised when they learn that struggle with OCD, but there are actually a lot of people out there who perceive as “normal” that are struggling, too.
3. It is something we should be talking about.
Over time, I’ve become more open about my problems with anxiety, but this was not always the case. But I spoke because with increasing openness, I think the perception of mental disorders can be changed for the good.
We all face our own battles. Whether mental or physical challenges come in all sizes and shapes. The best way to overcome them is to cast out the shame and embrace what we are. Get help with trusted users and find their own path to happiness. Above all, be patient. Is a travel. After all, the pressure makes diamonds and diamonds shine. Just wait.