08-27-2020 12:06 PM
08-27-2020 12:06 PM
These days the media seems to be becoming more open and receptive to talking about mental health. In fact, Netflix even released a popular new K-drama called "It's OK to be Not OK", weaving different mental health/neurodiversity issues into the storyline. Any tips of destigmatizing mental health within our own communities that may not be as open/receptive? Sometimes I'm even afraid to tell my own family about the emotions I deal with as they assume it will automatically "go away" with time. Suggestions welcome!
08-27-2020 12:15 PM
I feel that a lot of progress has been made overcoming stigma, but there is a way to go as well still. It can be hardest talking with family at times, that's why finding a good counsellor is priceless.
Connecting with great like minded people in communities like this is also absolutely therapeutic. Talking is so good for you!
08-27-2020 02:32 PM
Another fantastic question @SheBoss !
I have attempted two different approaches (both VolunTOLD opportunities, mind you) to raise awareness and bust through this stigma to date, with more scheming to come...
Last year, I had the privilege to take the stage at MSIgnite and share my story as part of the Neurodiversity as a Superpower pre-day session. I had rehearsed what I wanted to say in my mind just days before, but got my last bit of inspiration just hours before taking the stage from other Humans of IT as part of the panel. I was nervous as hell taking the stage, but I was "strongly reminded" that if I share an honest, authentic me on the stage and be humble - hopefully my story, and the stories from others on the panel would be helpful to folks. The feedback was overwhelming, and if finally triggered with me that just having conversations and sharing experiences continues to chip away at the stigma.
Earlier this year, I took a #40Days challenge and turned it into 40 days of micro stories surrounding neurodiversity, anxiety, ADHD, OCD, and life in general. Again, having the conversation within supportive communities (like @PeterRising shared) makes ALL the difference, and is contagious as well! I felt as though a door had been opened, and the weight of most of it left my shoulders. Hoping that simply talking about it helps you as well!
08-27-2020 03:51 PM
08-27-2020 10:57 PM
I completely agree with this. There is definitely a generational aspect to this. It was drilled into me by my own Mother (who is no longer with us), that depression was either not real, or something that only happened to weak people, and that you simply had to put on a brave face and get on with it.
Boy did I take this to heart. I kept everything internal until I broke down in 2012. Things came to a head in one incredible week where on the Monday, my then 2 year old son was diagnosed with severe autism, and on the Friday of that week my Mother passed away. Add in preparing for a house move, a stressful job, and snap!!
Years later, I've learned so much about mental health, depression, and anxiety. Add in a bit of imposter syndrome and you've got quite the cocktail.
The biggest lesson I've learned along the way is that it never goes away. You can't get rid of your anxiety completely. What you need to do is become aware of it, and that will help you to manage it.
I'm now an open book on my experiences and feelings, and I find that talking openly about it helps not only me but others too. Still very much a work in progress at the age of 48. I think we all are aren't we.