“I felt bad about feeling bad.”
What kind of stigma did you experience/observe?
I have generalized anxiety disorder and also experience episodes of severe clinical depression. These facts have cast a shadow over the rest of my experiences. I was afraid that people would see me acting “abnormally” and think I was “crazy”. I would do my best to fit in and would withdraw from being around people during times when my symptoms got worse. I would have troubles making it into work and wouldn’t feel I really had a reason for not going. I just hadn’t been able to get out of bed that day. I felt bad about feeling bad.
How did you overcome this experience?
Over time I have become friends with other people with mental illnesses. Within this group of people, I have found a community of people who have had similar experiences as me. These people accepted me exactly as I was so I, in turn, accepted them exactly as they were. I realized there wasn’t anything shameful about my experience.
Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.
It can get better. You can feel better. Reach out to your loved ones and let them listen to your story.