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.

Find out how to share your own story in our blogging guidelines.

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I can't just "turn off" my anxiety - it's an illness

Sam, September 11, 2019

Many people think that people like me, with anxiety or depression can wake up one day and decide to ‘get better’. That I can wake up one day and decide to ‘smile, drink coffee and deal with it’. But anxiety isn’t something that I can just ‘turn off’. 

Anxiety isn’t something that I choose to have on a Monday and choose to not have on a Sunday. Anxiety isn’t a decision. It isn’t a voluntary thing that I want in my life day in and day out. I can’t just ‘choose to be happy’.

I am not my mental health condition - I'm a person living with it

Chloe, September 10, 2019

I always knew I was different. From as young as I can possibly remember I knew I wasn’t like other children. I felt things way more intensely and came across as dramatic when I tried to express myself.

My mother, like many people her age, saw mental illness as something to be embarrassed about.  When I started to have emotional outbursts at school or I’d cry and beg her not to fall asleep during the day because the anxiety I felt was unbearable I was just labelled a child with behavioural problems. I was always made to feel like I chose to be this way. 

I hid my mental illness after I was told to 'man up'

Alex, September 3, 2019

I'm a 23 year old man, and I've struggled with my mental health for about a decade. What began as having low moods turned into suicidal thoughts, psychosis, addiction, anxieties and depression. At one point I tried to take my own life.

Growing up with these emotions resulted in me feeling very isolated.

I hid my true emotions as best I could growing up because the few occasions when I mentioned I was feeling low, not even depressed, I was told to ‘man up’ or ‘get over it’.

Sharing my mental health story online helped me find community

Kim, September 2, 2019

Mental illness has been a constant struggle throughout my life. I suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), generalised anxiety disorder and depression. For many years, I kept this a closely guarded secret, because I was too afraid to open up to those around me, for fear of rejection, stigma and discrimination.

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