Why I Will Not Be Silent About My Mental Health
Start writing a post
Health Wellness

Why I Will Not Be Silent About My Mental Health

Mental health has so much stigma surrounding it that it can sometimes be difficult to talk about it.

190
Why I Will Not Be Silent About My Mental Health
https://pixabay.com/en/mental-health-self-love-health-1971107/

I had a friend of mine ask me, "Ilyssa, why do you talk about your mental health so much?" To that, I did not really have an answer at first. It was so shocking to be asked, not because the question was rude, but because I had never thought about it. Why am I so vocal about it? When did I start being bold? What changed in me? These were the questions I found myself stuck on, because, truth be told, I knew I was passionate about it, but I had never qualified why.

My "why" came when I sat down with my roommate to discuss an upcoming event about suicide prevention. I told her that I was thankful that she knew where I was coming from; that it felt good to know that she shared similar certain thoughts and feelings. It was at that moment that I realized that my why was that I did not want anyone to feel the way that I felt. I remember growing up and realizing that my personal life was atypical. I remembered feeling isolated in my own mind, a victim to the thoughts that plagued me.

None of my friends understood why I wanted to self-harm. None of my peers understood the concept of abuse, depression, or mental illness. I grew up feeling alone. I watched my friends grow up and lead normal lives where they were not limited by the prison of their own mind. If I ever attempted to reach out to anyone, I was viewed as "weak," or "sensitive," and told to "toughen up, everyone has rough times." I felt voiceless. I was empty.

I remember receiving my diagnosis and the empowerment it gave me. Putting a word to what I was feeling helped me gain the strength I needed to be vocal. Once I started talking openly about my mental health, I was shocked to learn that more people dealt with it than I had originally thought. They shared their stories with me, and I shared mine with them. In almost every instance, I would hear, "I just felt so alone. I felt like no one understood. me" That is what lit a fire in me. That statement alone encompassed the feelings I had. That statement became my why.

I work for a mental health agency, and I feel more confident now than I ever have to come forward with my diagnosis story and my recovery story. I have told my story on many occasions to many people, and I would sometimes get looks of horror, as though my depression was communicable. I felt like another one of the "crazies." Yet, through all of my experiences, I remember what it was all for.

This is for that little girl that felt so alone. This is for the girl that just wanted to be understood for what she was. I never wanted anyone to feel the same emotions that I did. I wanted to start the cycle of change. It took me long enough to realize it, but now I know that the reason that I refuse to stay silent is because I have someone I owe it to. I owe it to 12-year-old Ilyssa to be the hero I always needed. My mental health is such a huge part of who I am that I refuse to be quiet.

I hope that one of these days, I will be able to be the advocate that I needed. I hope that I can be part of the change that eliminates the stigma. So no, I will not stop talking about my mental health any time soon. I hope that the constant buzzing in your ear stirs up the desire to change. I want to make my message clear that you are never alone. Change starts with me, it starts with you. It starts with us.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without a Valentine

You know YOU are not determined by your romantic status

1480
How to Celebrate Valentine's Day Without a Valentine
https://www.southbostontoday.com/celebrating-valentines-day-in-southie-next-thursday-of-course/

Although the most romantic and love-filled holiday is right around the corner, it's important to know that Feb.14, the middle day of the shortest month of the year, doesn't need to be determined by your current romantic status. With that being said, you can either choose to sulk over the fact that you're single or you can make the best out of Valentine's Day without even having one.

Here are a few ideas to celebrate the day:

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

7 Fun Facts About The Eiffel Tower

The iconic landmark is reinventing itself with a splashy new color.

3202
Eiffel Tower

Soon, the 2024 Summer Olympics are coming to Paris, and the Eiffel Tower will be in the spotlight.

Embedded so much into Paris's identity, the iconic landmark is no stranger to historic events and world-class gatherings over the years. It is sure to shine again.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

Blue Skies Weren't Always Blue

You don't just start as the person you are meant to be; there is a journey full of ups and downs that mold a person, so this is my journey.

3766
Blue Skies Weren't Always Blue

Overall I'd love to say I grew up a happy overly enthusiastic child that was taught to love herself and be loved by everyone else, but I can't say that and I never will. My smile wasn't always as bright as it is today, but this is the story behind my smile, the story about how I got here to the happiest place I'll ever be. I'll begin at freshman year of high school.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

The Heart Wants what the Heart Wants

Just remember sometimes it is gonna hurt, whether we want it to or not!

6456
The Heart Wants what the Heart Wants
Where to start...... Let me start with the cliche that life throws us curveballs and what we do with it is what counts.

One day he walked into my life. UNEXPECTED! And one day he walked out!

Keep Reading... Show less
Content Inspiration

Top 3 Response Articles of This Week

See which conversations rose to the top on Odyssey this week!

5612
Pixabay

New response writers means exciting new conversations on Odyssey! We're proud to spotlight our talented creators and the topics that matter most to them. Here are the top three response articles of last week:

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments