This Week on The Blog - What 2016 taught me about mental health. (Marc Lamberts)
2016 has got to be one of the worst years I’ve encountered, but I want to focus on the positives. The year I was diagnosed with several mental illnesses had brought me very positive things as well.
Being diagnosed with Depression, OCD and Anxiety Disorder is not what I call the most positive thing that can happen to an individual. On the contrary, it can be very disrupting news and a mental illness is very serious. But being diagnosed and talking about it on my blog has enabled me to be more positive about mental health.
Talking about the mental illnesses I have, made me proud of myself. I haven’t felt like that in a long while and to be open about my mental health did that to me. Society has this idea of mental health, that it shouldn’t be talked about too much and that’s awful in my opinion. By talking out about my own mental health, trying to inspire others – I’ve found strength and I feel like a true mental health warrior. It’s not easy, but nothing worth doing ever is.
Blogging and talking about mental health has given me new friendships over the last months. It creates a special and strong bond with people who are passionate about reducing stigma and raising awareness for mental health. The friendships I have made in the last year with fellow sufferers are the best friendships ever for me. They bring me perspective, light, and joy. They understand and that makes me feel appreciated, wanted and loved. Getting to know each other in hard times strengthens the bond and I really feel that is true.
I hope to give people an insight into my life and my struggle with mental health. A mental illness is different for everyone and I think that is one of the first things you should know about it. Because there is no format for being mentally ill. It manifests in different forms and please know I'm absolutely no expert on the matter. Well, I'm an expert in experiencing my own mental health issues, but that is about it really.
I hope people can appreciate the situation and give me space to work on myself, but still accept the support and care from other people. I hope to inspire people by sharing my story and give them hope. I think by being brutally honest, I can help myself and others the best. The moment I started accepting my panic attacks, my really depressed states, and constant anxious feeling, is the moment I started recovery. Many others have inspired me by sharing their stories and I want to raise awareness for some very important topics. I think breaking the stigma and talking about mental health for men, are my two biggest aims of inspiration.
Raising awareness and reducing stigma is so important, that may be the most important thing I’ve learned in the past year. Because of stigma and no education on mental health, the media and movies, the general public has a very negative image of those who suffer. They perceive people who suffer as not human and that’s so wrong. If people are educated more, they will understand more. That is so important. After all, united we stand, divided we fall.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, be kind and love yourself. Corrupt the growing hate with love. I love you. We love you.