Mental Health: The Stigma Never Leaves and Still Prevails

I would not call this one of my passions. I have been shamed most of my adult life for having mental health issues. For me, it does not matter if it is hereditary or a product of the environment I grew up in or subsequent experiences and traumas I suffered over the span of my lifetime. In my experience, it is not to seek sympathy or even a modicum of understanding from others it is about rising above the issues I suffer from.

I do not have the answers to why (though I have an understanding of why I have experienced these ailments) I suffer from PTSD, depression, severe anxiety, or agoraphobia. I no longer question why others get in an elevator and I won’t unless someone is with me and even then I hold my breath. I am having oral surgery next week and thank God I can sleep through it, but I do not ask why I have fear or horrid thoughts anymore about it. I know the latter is of the devil because God brings peace. Jesus is always with me to the end of the ages. I praise God for that and for the gift He gave to all of us, Jesus. In addition, I do not shame myself for still needing an Alprazolam when I panic nor do I apologize for needing it to anyone. Until I am completely healed, God has blessed us with doctors because we go from glory to glory. We just do not instantly arrive, though some have I am sure. For me, my healings have been progressional.

I have been fortunate to have a Christian psychiatrist and a wonderful friend, who happens to also be my primary care physician. Once one of my doctors told me to not apologize for my illness, which subsequently caused me to go on disability because as he put it, “you have an illness, and you would not apologize for being pre-diabetic or those who sadly have cancer do not apologize for their illness, so why should you (paraphrased)?”

Yet time and time again I have found myself apologizing for sounding neurotic, or nervous, or being labeled as an anxious and high anxiety individual. I have seen how I have been condescended to and placated by people that compartmentalize others because they have no understanding or humanity. It’s just what they do and if you suffer any mental ailment you must snap out of it as they say or you are enabling yourself to be sick. Would anyone tell a cancer patient that or a diabetic, or someone with kidney problems or worse? I would hope not. Nonetheless, if you have a mental illness you are told to snap out of it, to try harder, and to get over it. The litany goes on but I will not bore you.

At the end of the day the Lord Jesus Christ is my healer and I have been healed according to 1 Peter 2:24. I stand on this verse and confess this and other scriptures daily. My healing has been progressional and I have progressed so I thank God for that every minute of every day.

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