end mental illness stigma

just a quick reminder

selfishness is putting the wants of yourself over the needs of others. 

self respect is putting the needs of yourself over the wants of others.

one is disregarding others, one is taking care of yourself. 

the difference between the two is the difference between being a friend and a doormat. 

taking care of yourself does not make you a bad person

i repeat:

taking care of yourself does NOT make you a bad person

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October 10 is World Mental Health Day, so let’s talk about how we can end the stigma surrounding mental health 🌱

🗨 TALK🗨

Start a dialogue about your own experiences
💖 Mental Health is still stigmatized and that can make it difficult to talk about openly, but the more we talk, the more we help to normalize the discussion. But it’s not just about helping the world see Mental Health differently, but about your perception too; talking about your problems can help you work through them, and see them in a more realistic light, and it helps the people around you understand your needs.

Challenge incorrect information
💖 If you see someone spreading incorrect information about mental health, be brave and step in. Remind people that mental illnesses are disorders of the brain, and are usually due to chemical imbalances, in the same way that disorders of other organs might be due to a vitamin deficiency, or the body not being able to produce the right amount of hormones.

Ask others about their experiences
💖 Encourage others to talk about their own mental health issues, if they feel comfortable doing so.  

💭 LISTEN💭

Provide a judgement-free environment
💖 Sometimes people just need to vent, rather than have a discussion, and as well-meaning as you might be you need to respect that. Ask if they’d like to discuss their issues or if they’d just like to vent and be given a sympathetic shoulder to lean on. Mental Illness can make us hyper sensitive to perceived criticism, and feel unable to open up. Create a judgement-free environment by giving them your full attention, and by allowing people to talk at their own pace, without interruption.

Ask what they need, don’t assume
💖 What we need and what someone else needs might be two different things, so ask and listen to what someone says when they talk about their needs. It might be tempting to think “they’re just being lazy” or “if I give them a push they’ll get there eventually”, but respecting their wishes is not just about whether or not they know best. Ask them if they need their boundaries pushed, or if today is a good day to try. There will be days where they are more open to pushing their boundaries. If you force them too early you may deter them from trying again, and it may hurt their trust in you.  

💬 CHECK💬

Check in
💖 Now’s a good time to check up on the people around you. Don’t just say hello, ask how they are feeling; specifically how they feel mental-health wise. It becomes a habit to say “I’m fine”, even when you’re not, and mental illness makes it harder to be forthcoming with how we feel. Give them the option to say “well, now that you mention it…” instead of the usual small talk.

Check up
💖 Have you been ignoring your own mental health needs? Procrastinating on getting proper professional help? Now’s a good time to make an appointment with your GP for a check up!

Check yourself
💖 Even the most open-minded of us need to keep our own privilege and bias in-check. If you hear someone talk about an issue or symptom they face that you think might be exaggerated, made-up, or their own fault, consider that your own bias, privilege, or lack of understanding may be clouding your judgement. Everyone’s experiences are different, so try to remember not to compare. Have a judgement-free discussion, give advice or offer alternatives, but in the end: trust THEIR judgement of THEIR situation.

how about a shout out to the people who have the “ugly” symptoms like obsessing over others, having fits of rage, idolizing people, debating their validity constantly, crying over the tiniest things, depending on others for validation. shout out to the people who are frustrated with not being able to control their own mind. you guys rock! i understand that feeling and i’m here for you!

PSA: Stop guilting people for struggling. Stop saying “life is only as good as your mindset,” and “You can choose what thoughts control your life.”
People with BPD, Depression, Anxiety, and countless other mental illnesses do not have the luxury of picking and choosing which negative / positive emotions affect them on a day to day basis. Mental illness is not the narrow idea you have of it in your head, and yoga won’t fix it.

keep going
  • no matter how bad things are right now.
  • no matter how stuck you feel.
  • no matter how many days you’ve spent crying.
  • no matter how many days you’ve spent wishing things where different. 
  • no matter how hopeless and depressed you feel.

i promise you won’t feel this way forever. keep going

almost a year ago i moved back “home” to the place i grew up in. last summer i lost everything, or so i thought. i lost my home, i lost love, school, a job i loved, and people who had felt more like family to me than anyone else ever had. i was on my own. i was alone. last year i was at the lowest point in my life and in 33 days it will mark a year since the day i tried to take my own life. i thought i had nothing left. i thought there was nothing left for me. mental illness was literally ruling my life. in this past year i have struggle more than i ever had in my life, but i have learned so much about life and love. i have gained so much self confidence, self love, and appreciation for everything that i am. i have struggled, i have pulled myself up from rock bottom. little did i know that in a years time, i would be on one of the most influential teams of my life, i would have a 3.8 GPA in college and i would be receiving an offer from a school to play soccer with nearly $30k in scholarships. i would start speaking out about mental illness, and how it changed my life. i would travel, adventure, laugh, and love more than i ever had. i would become a completely new version of myself. and i would do it all on my own. i thought i lost everything. but i gained so fucking much in the process. it just goes to show you that had i taken my own life a year ago, i wouldn’t have any of this. life isnt always easy, living with a mental illness is HARD, but it is possible. may is mental health awareness month and i decided this year that i will never stop speaking out about the troubles and triumphs of mental illness. because if you’re not making someone uncomfortable you’re not doing something right. so heres to still being here. heres to everything i thought i would never have. heres to smiling and working to end the stigma around mental illness along the way.

People with bpd aren’t monsters
People with bpd shouldn’t be “avoided at all costs”
People with bpd aren’t inherently manipulative
People with bpd aren’t evil
People with bpd have feelings
People with bpd are people

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