Happy Monday! Today I face the beginning of a great challenge– talking openly about my personal experiences with mental illness.
Question One: Please talk about your diagnosis.
It’s taken a long time for me to come to terms with the fact that I suffer from a mental illness.
I tried to run from my diagnosis for most of my life. I’ve tried ignorance, physical and emotional escape, blame, anger, guilt and of course my favorite– denial.
I was formally diagnosed with anxiety and depression a few years ago, but have been locked in battle with both disorders for most of my life.
It was never talked about in my family when I was young–I figured that I was just reserved in school and prone to motion sickness on long car rides.
I couldn’t see any physical signs like other disorders, but I knew I had some severe limitations.
For example, at large family functions I was known to Tic, meaning I would make loud vocalizations and/or bizarre facial expressions. What was worse was that I couldn’t control them no matter who was with me.
My family “got used to them” and I felt ostracized because I felt I needed to make excuses as to why I felt an overwhelming urge to tic.
This went on through my school years and it seemed that it would go on indefinitely.