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Mental health has long been a factor in many peoples lives, but it has long been ignored. It isn't uncommon to hear someone say their diagnosis now a days. You can hear people from all around the world say what they have, for pretty much everyone now, mental health is no longer a hidden secret.
Hi, my name is Sierra, I was diagnosed with Bipolar disorder at age 13. I have since had additional diagnosis, such as anxiety, OCD (Obsessive Compulsion Disorder), and borderline schizophrenia. I have been living with these diagnosis for six years now, but I am unashamed to say them aloud. No, they don't make me who I am. No, my mental health doesn't define me. No, this stuff isn't holding me back. Although this is all true, my mental health is a part of my story. It does not define me but it has molded me. Now that my diagnosis no longer holds me back, it actually pushes me forward.
Depression and anxiety has been in my family for decades. Not only has it traveled down the gene pool, but all four people in my house hold have some form of mental health. Including, depression, anxiety, or panic disorders.
My great-grandmother had depression, my grandmother has depression and anxiety, and my mother has bipolar disorder and anxiety. Each generation saw worse symptoms, plus a younger diagnosis age.
When my great-grandmother found out she had depression, it was on her own accord. During that time, mental health was nothing but a myth. If anyone knew anything of her feelings she would have been considered mad, then just sent off to the 'loony bin.'
When my grandmother was diagnosed, it was later in her life though. She knew early on she had it, but was too scared to speak about it. Mental health had hardly wiggled its way into the world of medicine in the 70s, but by then there was small talk.
My mom on the other hand had finally made it to where she could speak about it more, believe me when I say, she did. My mom was the one who taught me it was nothing to be ashamed of. I took that to heart, and since then have never been ashamed of who I am.
I have always pushed the conversation of mental health further and further. In school I created clubs, I wrote articles, and pushed the limits of public speech. Speaking on behalf of others who are too scared, or just cannot has become a huge part of my life. I have worked to make the conversation of mental health less awkward with the people around me.
Over time mental health has made its way into the big pharmaceutical companies, into doctors offices, it has officially left it's mark on places. This all being due to the unashamed. The ones who spoke about their truths. Mental health would still be a dirty secret if we never had people speak out against the non believers.
Hi, my name is Sierra, I have Bipolar Disorder. I am unashamed of this. It does not define me, but it is there, that has to be accepted.
I hope whoever has read this today, regardless of who you are or what you have, you too are unashamed. I hope dearly, you can take these words and use them in your own life. I hope to all that you can work hard to inspire others to be unashamed, and be truly authentic. :)