Confidence and Mental Illness

April 30, 2012 Natalie Jeanne Champagne

Confidence and mental illness? Confidence and mental illness...confidence and, you got it, mental illness. I'm trying the phrase on. It feels a little weird.

When a person is diagnosed with a mental illness confidence is immediately affected.Confidence. Mental Illness. Confidence. Mental Illness. Hmm.

OK. I will stop being redundant but, I must admit, it's confusing, isn't it?

How Does the Diagnosis of Mental Illness Influence Self-Confidence?

My apologies for the long-winded title. But it is not an easy topic. Before a person is diagnosed with a mental illness they have probably been struggling with confidence for some time--perhaps, a lifetime. They may be unaware of this. Confidence is not a born trait but it is learned. When you are unwell it goes without saying---you don't feel so great about yourself!

The flip-side? Using the example of bipolar disorder, a manic state can cause inflated sense of self, of confidence. But the cycle of the illness ensures that mania becomes depression and confidence no longer exists.

Mental illness, the diagnosis of it, can spur feelings of helplessness, an inability to take care of ourselves. Relying on other people, having to work to become well, can make us feel alone in our struggle and feeling alone? Well, that certainly does not make us feel confident.

But look on the bright side...

Recovering From Mental Illness Can Spur Confidence

Yes! Recovering from mental illness is the hardest thing I have ever done. It is right up there with recovery from addiction. It defines the darkest parts of my life, but also the most positive.

When you are sitting in a psychiatrists office, when you are trying on new medications like clothing, well, that aint' so much fun. But when you start to become well? Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it.

You deserve a damn award, a winning lottery ticket---a stable and healthy life.

Becoming well can make us feel more confident. Recovering from mental illness is akin to climbing a mountain, scaling cliffs and nearly slipping on the ice, but you make it to the top.

You, we, recover.

Confidence is not something we can buy. Purchase as many jeans as you want, you won't feel much better, but it can be acquired through hard work.

The process to recovery, the end result, that can make us feel confident. And it should. The old cliche: Reach for the stars...etc etc...and find stable footing.

Finding yourself? That is confidence.

APA Reference
Jeanne, N. (2012, April 30). Confidence and Mental Illness, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne

Gehad Abada
May, 9 2012 at 2:23 am

Dear Natallie :,
I truly applaud you for writing this all out... I relate and I am grateful that someone out there is writing something of relevance..thank you. Keep going! I personally have a lot to write on this.. but I keep pausing and dwelling in all that is unwritten..again.. THANK you.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
May, 9 2012 at 4:18 am

Hi, Gehad:
Thank you so much for your positive response, it really makes it worth it. Just start writing! You have nothing to lose:)

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