At 16 I was ashamed and felt I had no future. I had been diagnosed with manic depression as bipolar was called then. I could not get myself to school, the whole thought seemed impossible. After two weeks of being at home and four days of driving me, I looked at the sad puzzled look in my tired dad's eyes. I tried so hard to get out of the car. I looked at all the girls with smiling faces and shiny hair and felt my greasy hair stuck like liquorice to my head. I was stuck to the seat and could not move. I felt my life would not get better. I felt so ashamed I could not make my dad happy by getting out of the car and I felt so silly I could not smile like all the other girls.
No one knew what it was not even the doctors. People told me I was not ill just lazy. They said I was too young and too fat to be depressed as people believed only old people with no appetite became depressed. My grandfather told my mother there was no mental illness on his side of the family. No wonder I was in denial for the next 16 years.
I was often made to feel ashamed, people used to whisper around me and treat me with kid gloves in case I did something strange!!
After many years of feeling embarrassed I decided to become a volunteer speaker for an organisation. I was surprised that after my first speech people came up and thanked me for sharing my story.
For the first time, I felt my voice was worthwhile and would be listened to.
I also joined moodscope a few years ago and found by reading blogs and comments I could learn a lot about other people's experiences. I also felt so proud when my first blog was online and I still get surprised when people take the effort to reply to my blogs.
After being ashamed on having a mental illness for a lot of my life I now would like to tell that sad girl in the car her life will get better and one day she will not be ashamed but proud enough to share her story with others.
If you have stopped feeling ashamed of having a mental illness, what made you stop?
If you feel ashamed or embarrassed, what would it take to stop feeling like that.
A Moodscope member