I have clinical depression and anxiety. It tends to surprise people when I disclose this. I must be better at hiding it than I think. Granted, I seem pretty perky in most of my writing and most of my IRL social interactions. You've got to be pretty deep into my "in" crowd to see me lose my (expletive.)
I was first diagnosed in... oh, I think it was 2009? Before that, I thought I was just being weak and too easily upset. I didn't know why I couldn't just grow a thicker skin. After the diagnosis, I kept it hidden for a while except for among my nearest and dearest. I didn't want to be stigmatized and thus risk professional opportunities being lost because I'm mentally ill. Then I realized that the whole stigma is just stupid, and I decided to fight it like hell. There are so, so many of us, and at this point my disorders are medically controlled, anyway! I look pretty much like everyone else. And the best way to fight stigma is to "come out."
So here I am. I'm living with a sickness, but I'm sure as hell not crazy, and neither are you. I decided to start compiling articles and essays on not just my own disorders, but various mental health issues written by women of a variety of ages. So that my sisters in Crazyland can realize how very not alone you are. We have value, and we can live just as full of a life as anyone. Please read on to feel solidarity. Stop if you feel triggered. If you want to share your own experiences, I can add 'em to the list.
5 reasons why you shouldn't kill yourself
Adventures In Anxiety: Let's calm each other down
Adventures in misery: my life on (and off) antidepressants
A Practical Guide for Contending With Panic Attacks
A reluctant defense of pro-ana blogs
For the last time, stop conflating violence and mental illness!
How to find a good therapist
How to help the crazy people in your life
How to live with a crazy person, by a crazy person
I hide my mental illness
I'll always be on medication (And that's OK)
Imaginary Neighborhoods: On destigmatizing mental illness
I'm crazy but it's not glamorous
I'm mentally ill and I carried a gun for five years
It Happened to Me: I was a cutter
It Happened to Me: I've had clinical depression for a decade
I survived a teenage suicide attempt, or why we must talk about suicide
Living with Bipolar II
Living (and working and traveling) with Agoraphobia
My battle with body dysmorphic disorder
Psychiatric meds helped me become a better person
So you're dating an obnoxiously sane person and you're, you know, not...
Stop looking for answers: Suicide is no one's fault
Hyperbole and a Half:
Adventures in Depression
It's been too long since an update
Music Monday: I don't mind this wasted daylight
Music Monday: We Are Pilots (blah blah depression blah)
Pick up your perk when you're down!
Stare the emptiness down until it blinks
The Happiness Project
Mental Health Month
No Shame Day