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Steven’s Story

“Don’t let anyone’s disbelief or negativity diminish your battle against this.”

Share your stigma experience.

I had my fist bout of severe depression when I was 16. I wasn’t diagnosed with bi-polar/OCD/Anxiety/ADD until I was 44. Since then I’ve been treated with medications and therapy. When I tell friends or family, they simply don’t believe me. They think I’m being overly dramatic, making things up to “get out of things”. They say things like, “Just cheer up”, “Get over yourself”, “It’s not as bad as you’re making it out to be”, etc. No one wants to hear about it, it’s just too disturbing to them. The thing is, I think some of the people saying these things are themselves suffering from mental illness. The stigma goes deep, with many people just not knowing what to say, or how to handle us.

How did you overcome this experience?

I find that when I post supportive, or informative messages on social media, like this website, that people get somewhat of an understanding of what mental health issues are all about. Friends and family who see these posts are beginning to see the reality of the situation and are less likely to just “poo-poo” it away. For me, social media posts are a better way of communicating than face-to-face.

Help others by sharing a brief, positive message.

Having people understand the realities of mental health issues is a long, slow process. Remember, it’s not your job to do so, but any little help you can give, goes a long way to beginning the process. Don’t let anybody’s disbelief or negativity diminish your battle against this.

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