young troubled woman using laptop at home

Sharing – I’m Open About My Depression—But Not Completely

First off, whether we are talking about mental health or abuse, your own story is your own story, and you can choose how much, or little, detail you want to give out.

Secondly, I definitely feel Laura’s comment about stigma below.

“I’m not completely open about my depression because the times it has noticeably impacted me in the past, I’ve been told that I’m a downer and a killjoy and negative. It’s stigma. I know it’s stigma. But sometimes, I just don’t want to deal with stigma, nor do I have the energy to do so”

As I have written before, being an advocate online for me means writing, sharing information and insights, interacting with other survivors, etc. but sometimes I just can’t. Not because I’ve lost interest or don’t want to do it, but because I’m just tired of the pushback. I’m tired of having stories about male victims challenged or dismissed, tired of people in the mental health space telling me that everyone should just do what worked for them, tired of dealing with other people’s definitions of what healing looks like, or how long it should take, and on and on.

It’s all stigma, it’s all the stigma that I want to fight against, but some days it’s just exhausting. So I’d rather not talk about it.

Then, after I’ve had a moment, I try and gather myself up and remember that these attitudes about abuse and mental health cannot stand unopposed. They hurt too many people. They prevent too many people from getting help, and healing. It’s simply too easy to throw around statements like “no one needs medications”, or “bad things happen to bring us growth”, as if those words are somehow helpful because you believe them, without realizing how much someone dealing with trauma silently reads them and is further stigmatized and silenced because it didn’t work that way for them. So I go on.

But don’t kid yourself, dealing with all the pushback, is exhausting, and it’s not going away.

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