Bell Let’s Talk: Mental Health For Me
Depression for me means…
… feeling tired all the time.
… sleeping for 10+ hours every day and still feel exhausted.
… cleaning is a daunting task that requires way too much energy.
… feeding myself is too much work and I’ll rather not eat. (It means I’ll get slimmer anyways right?)
… I don’t know who I am without it. It’s been with me for so long that when I start to feel better, I have an identity crisis. Who am I if depressed is no longer what describes me?
… I tell myself everyday that I’m worthless, not loved, and not enough.
… I don’t care about anything that matters to me, such as work, friends, and my hobbies.
… I don’t care about my hygiene as much since showering seems too much work.
… using various vices to numb my feelings such as binge-watching shows, drinking, and gaming.
… being sensitive to the slightest criticism or mistake.
Anxiety for me means…
… a sudden onset of difficulty breathing for no reason whatsoever. It just feels like my throat is closing up.
… a million worries run through my mind just as I’m trying to sleep.
… I worry about every single little insignificant thing.
… I have a harder time approaching new scenarios and activities since anything that can go wrong, will.
… there are days where I just don’t want to talk to anyone or leave my house.
… my heart will beat really fast and feels like it’ll explode out of my chest.
I still deal with stigma everyday. I try hard to inform others as to what mental health is but I still find two topics super difficult. One is trying to explain to someone whom has never experienced any type of mental illness, what it is like to have it and why I can’t do certain things. There are things that I know to everyone else seems simple and easy, but to someone struggling might mean seem as difficult as climbing Mount Everest. The second is battling with the stigma I hold for myself. Even to this day, I feel like a failure for relapsing despite being on medication and therapy for years. I completely understand mental illness is complicated, and medication and/or therapy doesn’t fix everything, but there is still some underlying standard I hold myself to. I’m working hard everyday to debunk the stigmas against myself.
I am so grateful that I work somewhere with great benefits that recognize mental illness as a disability. Not a lot of people are fortunate to work in such companies or even in a country that consider mental health as part of wellness.
Let’s seize this day to freely talk about mental health. Bell Let’s Talk has a great set of toolkits to get you started talking at work, school ,or just a casual conversation. Someone will ALWAYS be willing to lend an ear, but let’s make that person you today. I also want everyone to know that medication and therapy are the traditional cures to mental illness, but it doesn’t always work for everyone. There are many alternative methods that can be tailored to your needs, such as online courses/therapy, workbooks, meditation, and new types of therapies being created everyday. Also understand therapy is a very personal thing, which means finding the RIGHT therapist is so important. Being able to connect with the therapist and feel like they truly “get” how you work is winning half the battle already.
Let’s keep talking about mental health so the world can continue to change their policies and views. We have made a big leap since 5–10 years ago but we still have a long way to go. So here’s to the start of open, honest, and vulnerable conversations every day that will better everyone’s lives.