I am excited join a community of bloggers that I feel are doing something very important. I do so with the following.
“I pledge my commitment to the Blog for Mental Health 2014 Project. I will blog about mental health topics not only for myself, but for others. By displaying this badge, I show my pride, dedication, and acceptance for mental health. I use this to promote mental health education in the struggle to erase stigma.”
Mental health is something we all deal with at some point. It is probably safe to say that if you don’t struggle with a mental illness, someone you know does.
The spectrum of illnesses that countless people struggle with are vast and even among those that have the same disorder – they manifest differently and therefore must be handled differently.
Even those that aren’t diagnosed with anything are going to deal with some kind of mental health symptom from time to time. Last time I checked, that was called being a human being.
It’s time to talk about this stuff. It is time to accept the reality of these disorders. They are complex and difficult to cope with. For people living with one it is a daily struggle, their loved ones overwhelmed and unsure of how to help.
I know personally about the daily fight. Coping with major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety is a constant battle. A battle usually being quietly fought on the inside, often with others blissfully unaware. I try very hard to ensure that people don’t know I am having a down day, but sometimes there is no hiding it. Sometimes it is simply beyond me. Even with medications that are definitely of great help, there is no cure. There is no magic pill that makes it go away completely. I have had several people assume that because I am on some meds I should therefore no longer have symptoms, and are perplexed when I say that I most definitely still do. I wish they worked that way….
Nope, even with medication you have to learn about and start to apply coping mechanisms. Many require therapy with a trained clinician that can develop a plan tailored to an individual’s needs and assist in helping them implement them in their daily lives. Others maybe don’t do well with therapy or cannot afford it. Some do just fine with relying solely on the support of loving family and friends for help and encouragement. This is so important. Even with the best medications and therapy available, nothing can replace the existence of a good support system. Nothing can drive a person down a spiral faster than thinking that nobody cares or seems to understand what they are dealing with. I am fortunate to have such a support system, but sadly, some do not.
For those that don’t have a good support system….they can possibly find it somewhat in the big wide internet. That is where I think this blogging for mental health campaign can be an invaluable tool. For me, reading about what others are coping with, how they deal with it, it keeps me from feeling so lonely. There are tons of people out there dealing with a many types of mental health issues and are willing to write about it.
I want to be one of those people.
Blogging has become a therapy to me like no other. Journal writing is nice, and while I still do that, I don’t give those thoughts a lot of structure. The thoughts often come out in my journal a jumbled mess. While this process of free-writing is an important step for me in venting my thoughts and emotions out of my head, taking it just one step further and blogging about these thoughts forces me to give them structure, because they are meant to be read by others. Therefore, the writing must make some kind of sense. This is what makes blogging unique.
I hope that I can help in some small way. While I am not an expert by any means, nor am I able to replace the guidance and advice of a licensed and properly trained mental health professional, I hope I can increase awareness and help decrease the often severe and unnecessary stigmas associated with mental health conditions.
I don’t know how much or how little I will blog about this specifically this year, but this is a topic that is important to me, so I’m sure there will be several to come. If you want to read more about this campaign and read what other people are blogging about, check out the links below.