I was 31 when I was first diagnosed with mental illness. I never ever expected it to happen to me (does anybody?) and it certainly wasn’t a label that I wanted.
I had known that something was seriously wrong. Happiness, even for a moment, was becoming harder and harder to come by until it vanished altogether. I didn’t know where it had gone nor where, or if, I could ever find it again. And as more and more days became trials to be endured, as night after night became a waking nightmare of imagined fears, I realised that it wasn’t going away anytime soon and I wasn’t going to overcome it alone.
And yet…and yet…. it was difficult to take the steps that I needed to take to get help. After being diagnosed with depression I continued to work despite being advised by a number of people around me that I needed to take some time off. My confidence was shot to pieces and my ability to do my job was waning. Yet I felt that I had to battle through it, that taking time off would be admitting defeat.
And I was afraid of being labelled.
Matthew Williams, mentally ill.
Labels: depression, happiness, mental health, mental illness, positive psychology, psychology, recovery, stigma