Talking To People About Having a Mental Illness

      I want to share about this topic because I think it is important to be able to talk openly about mental health so people that care about me can understand what I am going through. Talking with people who don’t know me about having a mental illness could help reduce the stigma surrounding the subject. At times when I didn’t know how to talk about it I experienced shame and I felt alone in my struggles.

     When I was diagnosed in 1992 there was not as much discussion about mental health as it seems there is today. I was hospitalized for almost two months in the summer between grade nine and grade ten. I believe everyone who knew me at the time was informed of my circumstance.

      When I returned home to my family and to school it was very awkward. No one including me seemed comfortable talking about what I had just been through. I heard various rumors that were complete exaggerations. I heard that people were saying I was having acid flashbacks. I overheard people completely making up stories involving my situation. Not many people spoke directly to me. I felt misunderstood and helpless to control what people would think. I tried not to let it bother me but it did. At the time I hadn’t fully accepted my diagnosis as well so that also made it difficult to talk about.

      I don’t mind talking about it now because I have matured. I want a certain amount of privacy, so I don’t go around shouting from the rooftops that I have mental health issues, but if it is appropriate I am willing to be open about my experiences.

      To get from where I was to where I am now required first accepting that I have a mental illness and then having compassion for myself and an understanding that it isn’t something to be ashamed of. It took a very long time to get to this point.

      I am hopeful that I can help others who struggle with the their own mental illness and I am hopeful that I can help people who don’t understand what mental illness is gain insight and perspective. I am curious what it has been like for you. Please comment by clicking the button below the title above. How difficult has it been to be upfront about having been told you are mentally ill? How have people reacted to you?

Introduction

      My name is Adina Mazzucco. I have created this website as a way to share information and connect with others who have been diagnosed with or are affected by someone with a mental illness.

     It is my belief that I can have a fulfilling and enriched life in spite of the limitations and challenges that having mental illness in my family has posed.

     It is also my belief that society in regards to mental health and psychiatry has come a long way in the past twenty-five years since I was first diagnosed and am hopeful that the mental health care systems and the stigma surrounding people diagnosed with a mental illness continue to improve.

      I want to do my part by sharing my story and creating a platform where we can share our experiences and insights. I believe it is beneficial to help one another through life whenever possible and having a strong network of support is essential for optimum health.

      Maintaining a sense of humour, light heart, open mind and a hopeful mindset has gotten me through some challenging life experiences. I want to share strategies and techniques that have gotten me through episodes and helped with my endeavor of self improvement. I would also like to share with you the sources of inspiration and support I have discovered.

      I don’t claim to be a mental health expert. I think I am striving to be as self-aware and informed as possible on how to manage my life and I am curious about personal growth.

      In the past little while I have made some difficult choices and have changed my attitude. I am adopting new habits and a new lifestyle. I am hoping to sustain this period of stability with the understanding that bipolar disorder will most likely never be cured. What I want is to be as prepared as possible for an episode of mania or depression and do everything in my power to prevent it or manage it well.

      I believe everyone has value and gains success in life by identifying the value you can bring to the world and bringing it. If you have been labelled with a mental illness, you have a loved one with a mental illness or are in the least bit interested I welcome you to join me on my quest to inspire hope and offer support in order to help one another. As this site expands I will be providing a way to create your own profile and share your experiences with your own mental health challenges and you will be able to connect with others.

      I spent far too much of my time hiding in shame of who I am, or I should say, who I thought I was.