Don't Call Me Brave For Talking About Mental Health
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

I'm Not 'Brave' For Being Open About My Mental Health, I'm Simply Accepting Reality

Calling me "courageous" does nothing but continue to perpetuate the stigma.

368
I'm Not 'Brave' For Being Open About My Mental Health, I'm Simply Accepting Reality
Emily Gigliotti

I regularly speak in schools, sharing my mental health journey. It's heavy. It's raw. It's real.

I talk about anxiety, depression, self-harm, and bipolar disorder. Not the things we typically like to talk about, right?

But I am committed to advocacy, to being part of the movement to de-stigmatize the conversations around mental health.

So when a woman came up to me and told me I was so "brave" for standing up and sharing my story, I was extremely taken aback, even offended. The first thing I thought to myself was, "Is this how cancer patients feel?"

They didn't ask to be diagnosed with cancer. I didn't ask to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This is simply what reality looks like for me. I have to take my medication every day. I have to go to therapy every week. And those are things I will have to do my entire life.

Yes, I will admit that it takes a certain level of bravery to do it the first time. Because people don't want to talk about how fucked up they are or how crazy they feel. They don't want to be perceived as fucked up or crazy.

But I am way past saying it out loud for the first time. I am deep into recovery. It isn't bravery anymore. It's a simple acceptance of what my life looks like.

Saying I'm brave minimizes my recovery process. It implies that you think I am weak, that I am an outsider who went through something so distanced from your own experience, something that you cannot fathom dealing with yourself, so you think I am ashamed.

I am not ashamed to be a woman living with bipolar disorder. I manage. I have gotten to know myself so that I know what works and what doesn't. I wouldn't still be alive if I hadn't.

Next time you see someone who is sick, whether it be physically or mentally, think before you call them brave. Think about how that might make them feel.

I did not sign up for this. I chose to fight this battle because the only other choice was not living anymore. And that was not the path I wanted to go down.

I am not brave. I am simply accepting of my reality. And I am willing to share because I know my story needs to be told so other young people won't have to experience what I did.

Trauma is avoidable through education. And my deciding to play a role in that isn't brave. It's necessary.

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

Pop Culture Needs More Plus Size Protagonists

When almost 70% of American women are a size 14 or bigger, movies like Dumplin' are ridiculously important, while movies like I Feel Pretty just feel ridiculous.

1496
Dumplin'

For as long as I can remember, I've been fat. The protagonists in the movies I've watched and the books I've read, however, have not been. . .

Keep Reading... Show less
How I Met My Best Friends In College

Quarantine inspired me to write about my freshman year to keep it positive and focus on all the good things I was able to experience this year! In this article, I will be talking about how I was able to make such amazing friends by simply putting myself out there and trying new things.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

29 Things To Do in Myrtle Beach, SC Regardless Of The Weather

Both indoors and outdoors things to do in beautiful Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

6112
29 Things To Do in Myrtle Beach, SC Regardless Of The Weather
Dahlia DeHaan

In 2017, I moved to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina - one of the most touristy places on the East Coast. And ever since then, I've befriended locals and done some exploring on my own to discover new, fun things to do in Myrtle Beach. Here are just a few of my favorites.

Keep Reading... Show less
Sports

The Birthplace of Basketball

The NBA Playoffs are here. It’s kind of funny that my history kind of started out in the same place that basketball’s did too.

7026
quotefancy.com

Basketball was originally created by James Naismith, a Presbyterian minister who taught P.E. at YMCA in Springfield, Massachusetts. He invented the new game to keep the young men occupied inside during the winter. Borrowing ideas from rugby and a game he used to play as a boy, “duck on the rock”, he thought of nailing up boxes to throw a ball into. He couldn’t find boxes so he used peach baskets instead. The rest of the rules he made up in about an hour.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

I Met You At The Wrong Time

At least, that's what I keep telling myself.

5731
Tumblr

I met you when I was in middle school and I thought boys still had cooties. I wore flared jeans, Aeropostale shirts, and had the dorkiest braces ever. I cared about what other people thought of me, and I definitely cared a lot about what you thought, too. You were older, and your friends made fun of me when I talked to you. I pretended it didn’t bother me, but it did. I sat two rows in front of you in class, and constantly tried to think of reasons to talk to you. Your hair was a curly mess. It still is. You graduated from middle school a year before me, and I missed you. I don’t think you even knew my name.

Keep Reading... Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments