Am I Ashamed to Talk About My Mental Health?
It can be difficult to navigate the shifting views of mental health and the stigma surrounding it in an adaptive and dynamic world. There is a duality to the increase of safe spaces and acceptance regarding mental health. The exhausting truth is although some people in society may be ready to hear our stories, not everyone is.
Being Ashamed of Your Mental Health Versus Not Wanting to Share
I recently started a new job and have met more people in the last month or so than I have in a very long time. It is an exciting and hopeful time in my life, abundant with opportunities and new experiences. Amidst the enthusiasm and genuine happiness, I have found myself asking, "Am I ashamed to talk about my mental health, or am I protecting my privacy?"
This question has been running circles and doing backflips in my head since I started my new job. I am committed to sharing my story and being unapologetically honest about my bout with depression, but that does not mean I am immune to the effects of societal stigma, not by a long shot. I would be lying if I said that disclosing my mental health struggles with people I have met after months of healing wasn't a daunting thought. It is human nature to fear being judged for your past, and I am slowly coming to terms with this truth. I have found that the best way to combat self-doubt and insecurity induced by societal stigma is to practice self-compassion.
Self-Compassion Helps You Stop Feeling Ashamed of Your Mental Health
In my experience, self-compassion plays an enormous role in healing, and in this new stage of my life, I am learning that to reap the ultimate benefits, self-compassion must be continuous. Compassion fights stigma, both interpersonal and intrapersonal. It is easy to blame my hesitancy to talk about my mental health on societal stigma, but the truth is, I hold my own stigma. It took me a while to accept I could not control everything. It took me even longer to accept that I couldn't fight my depression on my own. In my mind, I equated asking for help with being somehow less than or weak. I was completely and utterly wrong.
The most courageous and downright frightening actions I have taken in my journey thus far have been accepting I am human and asking for help. As many people know, depression can be consuming. Regardless of what some individuals choose to believe, overcoming depression is not as simple as willing your way out of it. This is a hard pill to swallow. One thing that makes it go down a lot easier, however, is self-compassion.
Jack, J. (2022, March 31). Am I Ashamed to Talk About My Mental Health?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2022, June 30 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/survivingmentalhealthstigma/2022/3/am-i-ashamed-to-talk-about-my-mental-health