Does this situation sound familiar?
A colleague undergoes cancer surgery, and she receives unprecedented support from her family and friends, complete with flowers, cards and visitors. When she was subsequently treated for depression, everything went coldly silent – not a card, not a flower, not a visitor. When she returned to work, her workmates made it so difficult for her that she eventually quit.
One in five people will experience a mental illness in their lifetime. The other four will know someone- a family member, friend, or co-worker who has been affected.
We all have stories to tell. Below are stories from people who have been impacted by by the stigma of mental illness. If you would like to tell your own story, share it with us.
Hello. I’m fifteen and I’ve been through a lot. A lot more than a typical fifteen year old girl goes through. In October of 2011 my life completely changed. I became very, very, very depressed. I always felt self-conscious, I was always bigger then my friends, I was struggling to handle it. Then a boy I really liked, called me fat, and that day is when it all went downhill. I used to have a 90 percent average, I played travel soccer, I went out every single weekend.
It was September 2009. I had recently turned 18 years old, and was in my first year at Brock University. I was away from home essentially for the first time in my life. The first few weeks at Brock and living in Residence were amazing! I was in my element—I was meeting so many different people and making new friends. I loved my program, my Professors and all my classes. But most importantly, I was excited about my future!
Picture in your mind, if you will, you’re travelling down the highway when all of a sudden, without warning, a fear of dread suddenly wells up inside of you and tears come to your eyes. You have to pull off to the side of the road.
Slowly you get enough of your equilibrium back that you can continue on to the next rest stop where you pull into a far corner and cry uncontrollably for half an hour. That experience, for me, was the final straw in a series of events that was thought to be “stress”.