After years of being misdiagnosed with a variety of mental health conditions, I was finally diagnosed with AuADHD and several co-morbidities. It’s not even that some of the earlier diagnosis had been wrong, but they were just symptoms of underlying undiagnosed conditions and trying to self-manage those had turned into PTSD, depression, and anxiety.
I cannot stress enough how important talking to someone is when you are not feeling great mentally. Most of the trauma I have experienced in my life came from trying to be strong, not wanting to appear mad, or just having no one I felt I could talk to.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who you end up talking to, just that you TALK!
Stirling University recognises how important it is to have someone there to offer a listening ear. I have been using the Mental Health Mentor service since I started studying at Stirling and, for me personally, it has been invaluable. Just having a non-judgmental ear to talk to when I am overwhelmed, which happens a lot when you have autism, or just when you have had a bad week and are struggling.
It’s not always as easy to speak to friends and family when you are having thoughts that scare you, sometimes you don’t want to worry them, sometimes you don’t want the sympathy they will want to give, and sometimes you don’t want people seeing a different version of yourself that you struggle so hard to hide.
Mental health conditions have long been misunderstood and stigmatized but the only way we can ever change that is by talking about them, by not being ashamed of ourselves, and by realizing that the stigma is born from ignorance. We all have a responsibility to ourselves and others to speak out if we are able, and if that makes even one person feel less alone, then that’s a job well done.
Featured Image Credit: Nicola Foley