Sunday, 10 May 2015

The Lives of Others

Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes.

The truth is a powerful thing.

The thing I have found most startling since I started actually talking about my own mental health is how it almost always leads to somebody telling me something similar, or something worse, about a relative or a friend or themselves. Again and again we all keep it quiet, don't mention it until we are pushed.

And it's not in the way that you might if you were talking about a more physical illness - like cancer. I mean sure you might wait until your comfortable to tell someone about that kind of a struggle. But there is a precedent for it - books, films, TV shows and by enlarge you would only expect a swelling of (perhaps hard to deal with in itself) sympathy.

There is still a huge disparity when it comes to mental health issues. Instead of waiting for something positive or empathetic you wait to be judged. You wait for people to look at you differently, or try and skirt over it politely. I'm lucky in that very often this hasn't been the case for me - it's happened only a few times. Instead I've found people sharing their own stories. I remember telling one of my oldest friends about it after she had been through an episode of her own and she was stunned. 'Everybody hides stuff' was what she said eventually. Of course we do. Why? Because your brain, after all feels, like your responsibility. Perhaps the only responsibility that will make a difference is the ability to tell the truth about it.

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