My Passion

It's really no secret...

if you know me well, you know that I insert myself into other people's lives all the time.
Not because I'm a gossip or a nosy person {well...actually I think some may call me nosy, yes...ha!}, but because I genuinely care about people who are hurting or struggling.
Especially if they are afraid to speak up about it.
That should not be the case.

I can sense it from a mile away...

 having gone through depression, anxiety, and other mental/emotional health struggles myself, if someone else is suffering too. 

{{you can read my story by clicking HERE or the page titled "My Journey"}}

The problem much false thinking exists out there about mental health.
There is so much STEREOTYPE and STIGMA attached to it.
We hear phrases like...

"You're just making excuses."
"You're being so over dramatic."
"You have no reason to be depressed. You're life is great!"
"Just get up and do something, then you'll feel better."

Oh yes...and my personal favorite...
"You're not trying hard enough."

and it's emotional abuse!
Is it really any wonder, then, why so many people with mental illness suffer in silence?

But most people just don't understand what Mental Illness actually is.
Normally it's associated with people who are "crazy"...or who "see & hear things that aren't there"...people who have schizophrenia or multiple personality disorder.
And YES...those are mental illnesses.
But just like Autism, there is a spectrum of mental illness.  And more people than you may realize will be on the lower end of that spectrum.

People don't have to hallucinate or hear voices to be sick...
Sometimes, people get so down that they can't get out of bed for days.
Sometimes, they get so anxious that they are unable to do certain things that would not be difficult for the average person.
Sometimes they lay awake at night because they just can't turn off their overactive, anxious brain.
They can be so prone to negative thoughts that they try to mask it by doing drugs, smoking cigarettes, cutting their skin, or starving feel better, if only for awhile.
...because NOTHING ELSE helps.

But thankfully, there IS a remedy. There IS a treatment.

And unfortunately, the treatment is stigmatized too.
Medication can have a lot of side effects...some worse than others. Or sometimes they just don't work.  When people experience those things, they get scared, and decide that they don't want to take the medication anymore.
The thing is, just because one kind didn't work, doesn't mean that something else, or a higher dosage, won't work.

AND!!...the need for medication DOES NOT MEAN there is something wrong with you!!
Which is something we hear A LOT! Another form of invalidation.
All it means is that there is a chemical imbalance in your brain...and it causes you to feel very depressed or anxious. Just like any other illness, it needs to be treated in order to feel better.

And it's NOT. YOUR. FAULT. 

How would you feel if you were deprived of treatment for having cancer? Or diabetes? Or even the flu?

That would be discrimination. It would be abuse.

You are not lazy. You are not crazy.

Depression is a flaw is CHEMISTRY...not CHARACTER.

My passion is to help end the stigma of mental and emotional health... educate people on the importance of TALKING about it.
I want to encourage sufferers to get help, and get treated...and assure them that there is nothing wrong with getting treatment.

If I hadn't reached out, my life could be very different right now...
...actually it could have been over.
THE LORD blessed me with some wonderful people in my life...people who support and encourage, and remind me that I am not alone. 

And He's given me the desire to help and encourage others who are going through the same things that I did. 

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