Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year and no one should feel ashamed. By sharing our experiences, together we can end the stigma.

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I have a mental illness, but don't judge me by a stereotype

My name is Aida and I’m diagnosed with borderline personality disorder and a type of bipolar disorder.

When I was a kid, I was very introverted and it was hard for me to make new friends due to my shyness. I had insomnia and so many fears, I was even afraid to fall asleep at night. I was also very irritable but besides all these negative things I was generous, kind and I loved smiling and making others laugh.

I won't let the stigma around mental illness hold me back

When I was diagnosed with mental illness I was very lucky to have people around me who did not stigmatise me, who saw me as me and not my diagnosis. However, when I stepped out of my comfort zone and into society, I was hit with the stigma of mental health illness which many people have to battle with from time to time. 

I wish my workplace had been trained to support mental health

I wish I could give 2018 me a look into this year. I feel like a completely different person, and my whole attitude towards mental health has completely changed. 

A year ago I was stuck in a job I couldn’t stand. My mental health was in ruins. And I could barely get out of the door. Every day I would sit in my local coffee shop and question whether I had the strength to get through the day. There came a time when I couldn’t sit at my desk for longer than a few hours without gasping for air in fear of what was to come. 

Depression is not simple - it's more than being 'sad'

I've been suffering from depression for just under four years, and depression has a way of replacing your confidence with pure anxiety and self-hatred. 

The scariest thing I found about suffering from a mental illness is the effect it has on every aspect of your life; it’s not just what’s inside your head. For me, suffering from depression became debilitating as I couldn't find happiness in the little things I used to enjoy doing. More often than not, depression would cause me to sit in my room and cry, usually for no reason at all.

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