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Coming out of the Mental Health Closet?

Hi Everybody, In case you don't know me yet, my name is Salomon Patsevich. I am the founder of anxiety social net and a former anxiety sufferer (mostly :)).

I wanted to rise question, how important do you think it is to share your experiences with those close to you?

I was thinking to dedicate a full month on ASN to encourage people to share their struggles with one close friend or family member who doesn't know about it.
what do you think about this?

Thanks for the input

Salo
Category: Advice 7 years ago
Salocharly
Asked 7 years ago

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Hey, Salomon! Thank-you for this site. I think that idea is great, although it may be difficult for some of the people here. You raise a good challenge for us, though. Most of my friends and family don't know about my anxiety so I know personally it would be a challenge, but not anything impossible. I think it's a great idea what you have.
apesintheak
Answered 7 years ago
apesintheak

I have recently "come out of the mental health closet" quite publicly with a blog about my anxiety. In my first blog post, I admitted to some very personal things such as therapy and occasional thoughts of suicide. I was terrified after I hit the "publish" button. But the reason I decided to go ahead with it is that I was convinced that the very people I was scared of likely had their own problems. Who doesn't? Who hasn't felt depressed or anxious at some point? And I am tired of the mental health stigma. I decided that hiding my mental health problems as if they are some kind of gruesome deformity only encouraged the stigma. But talking casually and positively about it, for me, minimizes it and allows all kinds of people to relate. And after the initial terror wore down, everything was as normal as ever. No one treated me any differently. In fact, coming out in the open about my depression and anxiety was meaningful to people I see on a regular basis who, it turns out, struggle with related issues. More than anything, I received respect for talking openly about it. The people I know have deeper insight into who I am now. And, so far, everyone has had respect for my struggles and simply wanted to help. If you think about it, if someone you know and love opened up about a struggle they were having you would probably be empathetic toward them. I think there are plenty of people who will do the same for us. Mental health is a real part of life that all human beings must deal with, just like physical health. There's no shame in talking about it. That's what I have decided for myself.
valorieb
Answered 7 years ago
valorieb

Hi Apesintheak, thanks for your support! I think I am going to go forward with this little mental health aware campaign and see how people react, will try to offer as much tips as possible to make it easier for people to actually do it. valorieb, agree with you 100% I am writing a post about it now also, it was very helpful to me as well and i think it can be of great benefit for others as well, guys Valery blog is great :) you should check it out :) http://shygirladventurer.blogspot.com. cheers!
Salocharly
Answered 7 years ago
Salocharly

Most of my close family members and friends already know about my anxiety. They have been very supportive, even when it's obvious they are at a loss as to how to help me. The hardest thing was discussing everything with my supervisors at work; I was afraid it would be held against me, that they would think I couldn't handle my job and I would be demoted or worse. After reassuring me that it's not a reflection of my job performance, they referred me to a local counseling center. I now see a therapist every other week and I have an appointment with a psychiatrist for a formal evaluation and to check on my medication.
saratonin84
Answered 7 years ago
saratonin84

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