When I was diagnosed with a mental illness, it was difficult to accept that I was ill. During this time, I was a teenager and believed I was invincible. How do you take a young person and teach them to understand that they have a lifelong medical condition that takes strong treatment to move forward?
In my case, after several difficult years I realized it would be my decision on how to live. I could continue pretending I was okay or accept that help gave me a chance to rebuild my life. My parents and friends were wonderful and supported my growth. I finally was able to realize that it is not my fault and that many others live with these conditions.
I began a long road to slow and steady recovery. I went from struggling to becoming stronger. I learned how with the right medical care, therapy and support anything is possible. I now help other families and individuals who are often in rough mental states.
When I see a human being make peace with depression, they begin to change. They no longer feel sadness or shame for an illness they did not choose to have. They also learn how many others also face depression. When I share that the statistics say over 350 million people are impacted by depression they know they are far from alone.
It may take courage to admit you have a problem. When you are willing to combat these fears, you often make real progress. I have seen in my own life and in countless others, how positive choices lead to fuller lives. It may mean that acceptance is the first step on a long path to moving forward.