Defensive About Mental Illness?

I understand it can be difficult at times to be close to someone who suffers from anxiety, depression, panic disorder or any other mental illness. Speaking from experience, it is more difficult to actually suffer from one or more of these illnesses. On top of that, try to imagine living in a world where mental illness has such a negative stigma.

I have an excellent doctor who once told me to not be ashamed of my diagnosis and that it is so common these days. He explained that he treats it no different than any other illness. Of course that made me feel better, however, my “anxiety mind” wouldn’t quit thinking about this topic. If it is so common, why don’t people openly discuss it? Why are people embarrassed to tell people they have a mental illness? I know people that have type 1 diabetes, and I have the utmost respect for them and what they go through, so I am not trying to put them or their illness down in any way. I just often compare diabetes to mental illness because they are both so common and can be hard to cope with on a daily basis. In many cases, if you have diabetes, you are not ashamed to tell people that you have it. You most likely inherited the illness. I can tell you that I inherited my illness as well.

How can we change this? I think we need to start talking openly to others about our illness and STOP feeling ashamed! What are your thoughts?

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