Hearing public figures open up about mental health helps to end stigma and inspire others to get the support they need. Below, a collection of good examples, with the most recent on top.
“I think talking about difficult things gives you power over them. So instead of suffering in silence, which brews a lot of shame, being open about your difficulties allows you to connect with other people and helps you realize, like, we’re not so alone.” — Anna Akana in the LA Times….
“When I was 13, I started to harm myself. This lasted for a few years between middle school and high school. Many people ask me, ‘How could you do that to yourself? How did that make you feel better?’ Well, I was hurting so much inside. I didn’t know how to come up from that dark place. I lost interest in everything. I was constantly feeling guilty about everything I did. I felt inadequate. I had negative thoughts racing through my head every second of every day. I didn’t know how to stop it. So, to me, outside pain was the only pain I could control….I learned that so many other people are affected by mental illness as well. Then I thought, ‘If there are so many people with similar issues, why aren’t more people talking about it?!’ ” — NAMI Ambassador and NAMI WLA Ending the Silence presenter Brooke Johnson on the NAMI blog….
“I had really bad postpartum depression after I had my son, and it frightened me,” she said. “I didn’t talk to anyone about it. I was very reluctant…Four of my friends felt the same way I did, and everyone was too embarrassed to talk about it.” — Adele in Vanity Fair….
“At first, I thought the darkness filling my thoughts was temporary. I pushed it down like I had pushed so many other feelings of self-doubt and worry. And when it grew into a heavy weight on my shoulders, I resisted the urge to shout out. Fear was a constant in my life, and I thought I couldn’t possibly start giving in to its menacing power. I thought I could tough it out. I didn’t want to disappoint anybody by giving words to my ‘weakness.’ I hadn’t realized what I was going through was only the beginning of a long and arduous road, a lifelong battle with my mental health.” — NAMI Ambassador AJ Mendez on the NAMI blog….
“..for 29 years, I thought about mental health as someone else’s problem. Sure, I knew on some level that some people benefited from asking for help or opening up. I just never thought it was for me. To me, it was form of weakness that could derail my success in sports or make me seem weird or different. Then came the panic attack….” — NBA player Kevin Love in The Players Journal….
“My name is Wil Wheaton, and I have chronic depression. It took me over thirty years to be able to say those ten words, and I suffered for most of them as a result. I suffered because though we in America have done a lot to help people who live with mental illness, we have not done nearly enough to make it okay for our fellow travelers on the wonky brain express to reach out and accept that help…. — Wil Wheaton, NAMI supporter in remarks he made for a NAMI event.
More links to magazine articles and posts coming soon!