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 shouldn't have had to hide my mental illness

I’ve struggled with mental health problems for 4 years now. I started my first year at college, being that independent person my parents always wanted me to be, but then everything just came tumbling down. My family and I all went through a very traumatic time and that’s where it all began.

Self-stigma made me keep my mental health a secret

When we think of stigma and mental health, we tend to think of hurtful societal reactions and prejudice based on negative stereotypes. But this is only the tip of the iceberg. Those with mental health problems also frequently suffer from self-stigma. This is where a person takes on wider social prejudices about mental illness, internalizes them, starts to believe and incorporate them into their self-image.

This is how it felt when my anxiety was dismissed

What is it like to live with anxiety in an environment that dismisses you? An environment whose response to your experiences is ‘everyone gets anxious, just get over it!’

I certainly knew this was not the way things were supposed to be from a very early age. I was shy but then why did I feel so much fear at school?

My headteacher was supportive when I struggled with bipolar disorder

A strange thing happened with me when I was in school. Now, I call it strange because I was completely unaware of what actually it was. This strange and new thing for me was the beginnings of bipolar disorder, something I had never heard of before.

People call it a disorder and the statement that goes is generally like “XYZ suffers from it” - but now I can firmly say that bipolar community does not suffer from it, rather fights it as a brave soldier.

You don't need to understand my mental health - just listen

I’ve suffered with depression for 16 years. The one main thing that triggered it was bullying, but my life has been a story of events and now I believe it’s my time to start talking out and supporting those around me.

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