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Debra’s Story

“Create a safe space, live in it, and thrive there, forgetting anything that doesn’t feed your need.”

Share your stigma experience.

I have suffered from anxiety and depression all my life. The symptoms come across as OCD, ADD, and insomnia, which all look to outsiders like I’m a raging, emotional control freak, even tho I am a very loving, intelligent, strong, capable, intrepid person. I struggle with social situations, but when I’m in a job I love, I’m very capable. Often there’s “this I-don’t-know-about-her” perception about me and I get overlooked or taken advantage of. Either way, I struggle to be accepted, understood and ultimately, loved. In my last job I was promoted three times in the first 10 years because I was in a supportive atmoshere. But then new management came in, I was perceived as troublesome. Because of that, my anxiety elevated. At the that time, there were five family deaths in 18 months while my dad was battling cancer. I was experiencing a lot of grief, and being single and living alone, I spiralled into depression, and I was demoted four times in two years. I am now unemployed because of my “documented” behaviour at work which I believe is due to the employer ignoring a mental health medical condition as the cause.

How did you overcome this experience?

I have been unemployed for a month now, have been on medication for 4 months that I am quite happy with the results. I am feeling much better yet still struggle with anxiety and emotions when certain situational circumstances arise where I do not feel supported.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

Self care is so very important. Surrounding yourself with people who care about you and support who you are is necessary. Reminding yourself you are worthwhile, loved, and ‘enough’ is crucial. Create a safe space, live in it, and thrive there, forgetting anything that doesn’t feed your need.

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