Talking about mental health is taboo in our society for many reasons. People feel ashamed and afraid that others will view them as weak and incapable of interacting with others. Conquering negative thoughts is not simple, but once you feel confident in your mental health state, sharing your story can be extremely valuable.
Most people who have suffered with mental illness avoid talking about it because of the stigma surrounding it. Even though rewinding to the past and describing what you went through is challenging, it is also incredibly valuable for those who are unaware of the importance of mental health, for people currently suffering with a mental illness, and especially for yourself. Recognize the tremendous worth and benefits of sharing your experience. There are many.
For starters, it can teach people more about your specific mental illness and how damaging it can be. People who may have never had a serious mental illness may make generalizations about how they are meaningless or controllable. Your story can change that - it can show them just how severe the effects are and even teach them more about mental illnesses in general. Society tends to reject those who openly admit to having a mental illness despite their commonness and severity. Sharing your story is one major way that you can get rid of the negativity and shame associated with having a mental illness and make it more widely understood.
Furthermore, it may help individuals who are currently experiencing what you have proudly overcome. Based on my experience, reading people's stories about the same illness I experienced helped me feel accepted. It was always challenging to speak to people about it face-to-face for fear that I would be an outlier or considered crazy, but by reading these stories, I knew that I was not alone and felt as though I could finally relate to someone.
Lastly, it can be extremely beneficial to yourself. For a long time, I tried to ignore it and forget about the things I went through in the past. It worked in the short-run, but the thoughts would come back every now and then. Sharing my story helped me move on from the past that I so desperately wanted to forget, and in the end, I felt so strong and so brave. Telling my story to people online first, then in person, allowed me to accept the past and move forward. It not only benefited my friends and family who wanted to understand what I was going through at the time, but it also finally encouraged me to look forward to new and better things.
It is rare that you will hear someone openly speak to you about their mental illness, but the Internet has plenty of relatable experiences that you can read. There are a few ways that you can share your story - online, in person, or both. Mental health organizations, such as No Stigmas, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), and Time to Change are just several places where you can submit your experience with mental illness.