Diagnosis: PTSD, Depression, Anxiety
How do you feel about your diagnosis?: I used to be really freaked out about it. I went through thinking "What is this? What is wrong with me? Oh wow... I really must be crazy..." As I continue to recover and grow, I feel better and more comfortable with who I am.
Have you ever experienced stigma? How has your life been affected by your illness?: People treated me differently when they knew I had a mental illness. They treated me wither like I was a freak, or like I was something so broken that they shouldn't even bother to touch it.
When did you realize what you were experiencing wasn’t normal?: When I first interacted with my closest friends after telling them what was going on. They avoided me and stopped being my friend. It didn't make sense to me. I was still the same person I was a month ago... now they just know something more about me.
Early on why didn't you seek help?: I didn't realize I needed help until my mother addressed it.
What type of reactions are not easy for you to hear? What reactions do you appreciate when you share with someone that you live with a mental illness?: I HATE it when people give me pity or treat me any differently. If I choose to share my illness with you, I would rather have you offer a hand if I need it, and give me your love and support.
What do you wish people would understand in regards to mental illness and mental health?: The keyword here is ILLNESS. Its a "sickness" and like all other illnesses, you heal and get better from them.
What treatment or coping skills are most effective for you?: Writing, painting, singing. Anything that allows me to express myself. I also volunteer. It gives me a good perspective of how I can and do have an impact on the world around me.
What are a few goals’s regarding your mental health?: Be a positive and a happy person. I've already defeated my PTSD obstacle, and I'm ready to defeat all of my other ones.
What does recovery mean to you?: Release.