Sharing Your Struggle with Mental Illness Aids Your Recovery
Sharing your struggle with mental illness is personal, so being open and transparent about mental illness can be extremely difficult. So much of the time there is a lot of shame, embarrassment, and guilt surrounding the struggle with mental illness that many who suffer keep it to themselves. But explaining to others what you are going through allows you to no longer have to hide and wear a mask and it gives you a support system that will help you feel as if you are not alone. I believe that sharing your story of struggle with mental illness can be such a powerful step forward and bring you closer to recovering from mental illness.
How to Start Sharing Your Struggle with Mental Illness
The first share, the first person you talk to, is going to be the scariest and hardest. But after that, it gets easier, I promise.
I suggest writing out what you have been going through during your struggle with mental illness and doing a brain dump on paper in order to get all of your thoughts, struggles, and experiences in one place. This allows you to get a little bit organized and centered before you talk to someone else. Of course, speaking with a professional therapist and/or psychiatrist can be a perfect place to start as they have a lot of experience and know how to ask questions and respond in a helpful, respectful and encouraging manner.
Speaking with a positive and encouraging loved one is also something I would recommend because this person is someone you can contact more often than a professional. Having someone you know on a personal level there for you can make you feel more supported and powerful during your struggle with mental illness.
What If Someone Doesn’t Understand Your Struggle with Mental Illness?
This has happened to me on many accounts. I go to share my struggle with mental illness and the person on the receiving end brushes off my remarks. Either they don’t understand mental illness, they feel uncomfortable with you sharing with them and don’t know how to respond, or it is something else altogether. The important thing to remember when this happens is that it has absolutely nothing to do with you. The other person’s reaction is a reflection of something happening within him or her. It doesn’t have anything to do with your story, your personality, or your worth. It doesn’t mean that what you are going through isn’t real, it absolutely is. And this is so important to remember.
Find People Who Support You and Understand Your Struggle with Mental Illness
Don’t let those who may not understand or be supportive of you stop you from sharing your story and working on your mental illness recovery. There are people out there who understand, are willing to listen, and are willing to help. And these are the kinds of people you want to surround yourself with. It may take some time, some searching, and some trial and error, but it is so worth it. You are well on your way to recovering from mental illness and sharing your struggle with mental illness is going to propel your recovery even farther forward.
Zacharakis, N. (2017, November 7). Sharing Your Struggle with Mental Illness Aids Your Recovery, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, February 29 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/recoveringfrommentalillness/2017/11/sharing-your-struggle-with-mental-illness-aids-your-recovery
Author: Nancy Zacharakis
Talking to my therapist helps me so much. It was awkward at first but now that we know each other she's my release valve for all my issues. Wouldn't be getting so well without her
For me speaking out about my illness has also given me a sense of purpose in being part of the fight against stigma.