“Masquerading as a normal person day after day is exhausting”. When I saw these words on a plaque in my therapist’s office, I knew it summed up everything I had been feeling for years.
I have struggled with major depressive disorder since childhood. I learned at an early age to hide my depression in order to be accepted by everyone else. I would never let others see me cry, and so I would go into periods of isolation when I felt a major depressive episode coming on. This often prevented me from getting close to others, because I was terrified of my secret being discovered.
Essentially, the stigma of my illness controlled my life. So much so that I have lost valuable friendships and nearly destroyed my marriage. BUT… Now I am through with the stigma.
We shouldn’t have to pretend to be someone else just to feel accepted! I am dedicating my life to removing the stigma associated with mental illness. I am grateful to Bring Change 2 Mind for starting the discussion. The masquerade is over! My illness is a part of me, much like the color of my hair or eyes. But it does not define me.