By August 3, 2016Story

“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.


  • Connie says:

    I can relate I call it I call it putting on my mask.It does get exchausting I am working on being able to remove the mask.

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Connie. You’re right. It’s very much like wearing a mask. So much so that I feel I don’t have my own identity. It’s more like trying to keep up with who everyone else thinks I am. The important thing to realize is we are not alone.

  • Tammy says:

    This is and has been an issue my whole life , my mental illness caused me to drink because I never felt good enough , I am sober now and work on this issue everyday , I am diagnosed with major depression , anxiety , your story makes me feel that I am not alone , thank you .i see a therapist also .

    • Mary says:

      Thanks Tammy for your reply. You are not alone! I performed the masquerade until I just couldn’t do it anymore. I realize now that sharing my story can change the stigma. You are in my prayers.

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