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.
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.
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.
As a leader working for a successful facilities company and, having had a great deal of personal experience with my own mental health, I feel strongly about how I can help to get the conversation going, and raise awareness about mental health with my friends and work colleagues alike.