Accept Yourself – #Stamp out Stigma

Anxiety and depression are no laughing matter.  Yet many of us try to make ourselves and others smile and laugh to hide our pain.  I am one of those people.  Somehow I thought that if I bring joy to others it would camouflage the pain my heart and mind.  But that is just a temporary fix.  At some point you have to realize that you can no longer lie to yourself in that way.  You have admit to who you really are and how you really feel.

I support a number of causes to help combat the stigma that blankets mental health currently.  My goal is to try and help others change their mind and belief about those of us who suffer from mental illness.  But this morning it occurred to me that while trying so hard to support the solution, I am an even bigger part of the problem. How so?

I have allowed my own internal stigma to cause me to not be accepting of myself and my struggles.  I beat up on myself for giving in to my pain some days.  I am angry with myself on those days when I can’t easily bounce back. I feel disappointment when I let my fears prevent me from taking chances.  I have not been very accepting of me so how can I expect acceptance others.  Today, it stops.

The mental health community is in dire need of the same level of respect and attention given to physical health.  Many of us don’t hesitate to share woes of physical illness with friends, family, co-workers and even employers.  However, when faced with mental illness, many of us shut ourselves up in a closet of shame.  We turn the lights off on ourselves because we don’t accept ourselves and our illness.  Well I am turning the light on myself today.  My name is Erneshia Pinder.  I suffer from anxiety and depression and I am a wife, I am a mother, I am a friend, I am a colleague, I am family and most of all…I am HUMAN!

One thought on “Accept Yourself – #Stamp out Stigma

  1. this is a beautiful post. i too have depression and anxiety. the mental health stigma is terrible. your post was courageous…we have to come out of the closet so to speak…I think by speaking out you encourage others to be brave. i appreciate how you self-reflected. i think you became aware of your inner reluctance to accept yourself…but please do not blame yourself. the world we live in just is not as advanced as we are 🙂 …often people discriminate against others because of a lack of understanding. if your sickness is not visible, then it’s weird and shameful. that is how it registers with some people.

    i also think the term mental illness needs to go. if you simply mention to someone that you have mental health problems they don’t know if you are psychotic and dangerous or if you have depression and anxiety…i think the difference between the two disorders makes a world of a difference…so don’t lump me in with every other type of disorder relating to the brain, nervous system, or is classified as a behavioral issue. Imagine if there were no specialists in the hospital…the oncologist would just be a general physical health practitioner who treats cancer patients as well as those with HIV, emphysema, IBS, the flu…you get my point, right? This is what we face as people who have “mental health disorders”. I have so much more to say but I don’t want to bore you with my thesis…overall, i just wanted to say thanks for being a brave person with depression and anxiety. Jackie

    Like

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