Patient Blogs | Depression
Breaking the Stigma Behind Mental Health and Depression
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Let's Talk About It .  No, really.

While I've never bought into the stigma thing, I get it. However, my approach is to pretend it's not there, and it isn't. Either you control it, or it controls you. 

The way I see it, I'm speaking for everyone who can't. Maybe because they lost their battle with mental health and depression -- as so many close to me have  -- or because they're living in silence, terrified of what others might say or think.

If you still stigmatize depression or any mental health issue for that matter, please try and understand you're potentially playing with fire. Life or death, literally.

Listen, I get it. I didn't grow up in a world where we talked about feelings much. You certainly didn't cry  -- and definitely not in public or to another male.

To this very day, I fight tears at funerals for reasons I don't even understand. I mean I've never seen someone laugh at another for crying at a funeral. But I'm always the person who tries to pretend he's good, despite the number of times I've felt like I was dying on the inside with a smile on my face.

We, as a society, have finally gotten to a place where we can, for the most part, talk openly about the things that were once considered taboo or stigmatized. In fact, I spend much of my time writing about them to help start the conversation because I know very few others will.

The thing about stigmatization is that it dies in the light, so to speak. The awkwardness or uncomfortableness you feel talking about depression or any other subject becomes either easier to deal with or the stigmatizer’s burden to bear once you start talking openly and honestly about them. Start sharing and watch how you inspire others to share their story.

There are no tough guys in 2022, only people who live in debilitating fear of talking openly about certain subjects. It makes them uncomfortable, so they try to proactively shut you down before you ever open up via stigmatization. Let them win if you want, I just simply refuse to.

Nobody will ever dictate what I talk or write about. Whoever has something to say can feel free to do so in the comments section wherever I post or publish my story that day, but they likely won't.

The best they can usually do is talk about you when you're not around . So, I mean, who's really the one lacking character and integrity in that scenario? As the saying goes, we have nothing to fear, except fear itself. And I won’t allow myself to be afraid to speak or write openly or honestly today. In fact, the more I think about it, I never have.

If I've helped one person along the way, in any way shape, or form , it's been worth it. I'm tearing apart stigmatization limb for limb, a day at a time.

 

 

Photo Credit: Westend61 via Getty Images

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Brian Brewington

Brian Brewington

Diagnosed since 2019

Brian Brewington has been on the journey of addiction recovery since 2014 and was diagnosed with a major depressive disorder in 2019. A 34-year-old writer and freelancer from Philadelphia, his work has been featured in KEF Audio Magazine, and he runs the Journal of Journeys publication on Medium.com, where his writing first became popular. Brewington still sees a therapist and attends 12-step program meetings regularly. You can read more from him here.

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