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Ha Anh’ Story

“I know mental illness stigma is very hurtful…It will pass…”

Share your stigma experience.

I haven’t been diagnosed yet but I’ve been showing signs of depression and anxiety disorders lately. I would cut myself repeatedly on my arm to cope with the numbness and guiltiness I get from these illnesses. However, my class was going to do a play, everyone had to do it and I was forced to participate myself. I used 3 bandages to cover the scars up but the stickiness of the bandages faded after a while. This lead to two of them falling of without me knowing. One of my friends saw it and started to space away from me. Of course, I didn’t know why he did it and asked him. He stared at me and told me it was because of my scars, that he’s disgusted that someone would do that to themselves, that I’m weak and not capable of doing anything correctly because of this. He now refers to me as “attention slut” to his and my friends. Honestly, it threw me off because he was one of my closest friends. He’s away from my life now.

How did you overcome this experience?

He and I still study in the same class. After he told my other friends, they came to support me. This encouraged me greatly and I realized that I didn’t need somebody toxic in my life. I cut off all ties with him, and refuse to look at him after that.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

I know mental illness stigma is very hurtful, especially because it adds up to the already too many problems we face everyday. It will pass, and those who judge you are not worthy of your attention. Remember that.

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