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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Day 1; Post1; Step 1

Topic: Day 1; Post1; Step 1

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. The_Observation
    The_Observation avatar
    2 posts
    8 September 2020

    Hi all. So I'm a newbie here and this is my first day and first post. I've struggled with depression for over 15 years and have gone through the entire gamete of ups and downs that go with it. I've been on meds for the past 6-7 years and I know that I'll be on meds for the rest of my life. I'm a very high functioning depressive and anyone who sees me would never know that anything was wrong. But I still carry a burden each day when work stops and the thoughts again begin to creep in.

    I have a very good perspective of my condition, but this has taken a longtime to create. I'm very open in discussing it amongst friends and am an advocate for mental health discussions particularly amongst men. However, I still battle each day with ups and downs and the stigma surrounding mental health from a work perspective, as do many a depressive. The societal mask I wear is well worn, like an old shoe that that just feels comfortable and can't be discarded. Only those closest are aware of the thoughts that bounce around my mind when things quieten down. The stigma of shame associated with depression is still strong.

    We need to breakdown the stigma that surrounds mental health in our society. To many voices go unheard until it's too late. Too many voices are with-held and internalised. The more we can converse in an open and supportive environment the stronger we can become, and the more voices we can hear.

    Im looking forward to learning about others journeys and how they have grown and thrived and sharing my stories to help others who feel they can't get there.

  2. Croix
    Community Champion
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    Croix avatar
    10373 posts
    9 September 2020 in reply to The_Observation

    Dear The_Observation~

    Welcome, I could not find your other post (2 many 'observations' to search for I guess), so I'll treat this as your first. I'm gladdened you have reached a reasonably stable, though not ideal, state. There is still hope for improvement, I did not come across the medication that really suited me for long time.

    Many people wear a mask, which may or may not be a good thing depending on circumstances, but are really affected by stigma. It is not even the stigma of others, but self-stigma too.

    Typically I felt I was not one of 'those' people and held off getting treatment until far too much time had passed, job lost, family in bad shape and all else you can imagine.

    Things are improving, organizations such as Beyond Blue do an enormous amount, from this huge website full of facts and help thought to media, even down to adverts on trams.

    The Speakers Bureau tries to send the message to local communities as well as companies.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-involved/our-speakers-bureau

    It is not just Beyond Blue, many other organizations do similar, some being specialized like 'Mates in Construction", particularly tailored for men in that industry.

    I guess it will take active participation by many before all stigma goes, have you considered volunteering in the mental health field? There are all sorts of opportunities depending on your preferences. Beyond Blue's BlueVoices might be a starting point.

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/get-involved/bluevoices

    It took me a while before I was able to say to others my condition, but I've found the vast majority exercise consideration and do not think less of me. As for the ones that do, I'm sure they are full of prejudice against other matters too.

    Croix

  3. blondguy
    Life Member
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    blondguy avatar
    11220 posts
    10 September 2020 in reply to The_Observation

    Hello The_Observation

    Welcome and great to have you as part of the Beyond Blue forum family too!

    Your post actually sounds like my own experience with mental health. I also struggled with the ups and downs (and the woeful lack of understanding) when working in the private sector in a senior role..

    Unfortunately I wasted 13 years of my life by thinking I could self heal using natural remedies.....that was a huge mistake which only exacerbated my anxiety attacks. I am okay saying that I have been on meds afterwards for 24 years and probably will be for the rest of my life too

    If I can thank you for mentioning ''We need to breakdown the stigma that surrounds mental health in our society''

    There are some people that dont understand that 'Pride is a poor Substitute for Intelligence' I found dumping my pride and using my brain was a really good decision where my mental health was concerned

    Thankyou for your strong post helping others by taking the stigma out of mental illness

    my kind thoughts

    Paul

  4. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    12409 posts
    10 September 2020 in reply to The_Observation

    welcome the observation,

    Thanks for your post.

    I think people tell others about their mental illness in their own time. Some people may never tell and others like me take time. After 30 years of being diagnosed and half of that in denila and being ashamed I started doing talks to community groups.

    I was so scared what people would think but once I took that plunge I found people wanted to hear my story and tell mine.

    Everyone is different .

    Thanks for your honest post,

    What is step2?

  5. Wishes
    Wishes avatar
    30 posts
    10 September 2020 in reply to The_Observation
    Hi The_Observation!

    What a worthwhile topic.

    Stigma is sometimes half the battle within mental health, and a lot of my friends have faced backlash at work, within their social lives, and their families because of it. And sometimes I just sit back and think- "Don't they already have it hard enough? Without the judgment?"

    A Youtube series that really opened my eyes and deserves to be shared around is the 'SANE Australia: Hearing Voices' videos. It presents a range of mental illnesses and real people who have gone through it for further education of those who do not face mental health problems.

    Really worth checking out!

    Best,
    Wishes

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