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Jessica’s Story

“Seek professional help to build a better life!”

Share your stigma experience.

I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and OCD and have suffered from these mental illnesses on and off for most of my life. During a particularly depressive chapter in my life, I confided in a friend that depression had been kicking my butt and I was reaching out for support. She told me to count my blessings and stop being selfish because there were a lot of people in this world who had it far worse than I did. She completely invalidated my feelings and made me feel even more depressed; it felt like she said that I don’t even deserve to be sad and the fact that I am makes me a terrible person.

How did you overcome this experience?

First, I cut her out of my life. She wasn’t a particularly close friend, family member, or neighbor, so I didn’t have to see her much anyway. But I cut toxic people out of my life so that they wouldn’t contribute to my negative feelings about myself.

Second, I built up my support system. I chose more compassionate friends and sought out therapy.

Finally, I educated myself and shifted my mindset so I truly believed that just because someone else may have it worse than me, they don’t have a monopoly on pain/sadness. I am entitled to my thoughts and feelings.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

Seek professional help to build a better life!

Build a balanced support system. Don’t spend all your time with people who don’t believe in mental illness, and don’t spend all of it with people who are so mentally ill that you bring each other down instead of lift each other up.

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