The Blog for Mental Health Project is back! For those of you who don’t know, the purpose of this project is share your experiences with mental illness, to educate, to reduce stigma and most importantly let those suffering know that they aren’t alone.
“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2015 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
I have had a lot of labels thrown at me. I have Major Depressive Disorder (MDD). More recently, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Obsessive-compulsive Personality Disorder (OCPD) have been added to the mix. I’m not a fan of these labels. I don’t feel like I fit these cookie-cutter definitions. This is what makes mental health so complicated. Each case is unique and must be treated as such.
This is my story…
I started treatment in 2006, but it began long before that. I think I was born hating myself. Mental illness runs on both sides of my family. It must be in my genes. I was always a very serious child. People would say I was moody, which I suppose was true, but it was more than that. I had terrible stomach aches and threw up a lot when I was younger. I guess I didn’t understand how I was feeling so it manifested physically. As I got older, the physical symptoms waned, I developed body image issues, anxiety, perfectionist tendencies, anger issues and the moods got harder for me to handle. Eventually I stopped going out, I stopped sleeping, I stopped functioning and I prayed that I would just disappear. Since it was unlikely that my prayers would be answered, I did the next best thing. I got help.
Currently, I wear many different hats. I am a Ph.D. candidate, a wife, a lab manager, a wannabe artist, a daughter, a sister, mum to the cutest kitty ever AND I am climbing my way out of the worst depressive episode I’ve ever had. Thanks to my family and closest friends, I am still here. Mental illness, whatever labels they may give me, will be a battle I will fight for the rest of my life. It’s a battle no one should have to fight alone. Blogging has been a great help in coping. I get to sort my thoughts out in words or at least doodles and connect with a whole community of people that understand what I am trying to say. Not only has blogging been a comfort, I have met some wonderful people and learned so much about mental health. I plan to continue blogging about my own experiences with mental health along with some art journaling, doodles, Lego, blog challenges and adorable cat pictures thrown in a long the way.