“Coming out” and admitting to my depression wasn’t the easiest thing that I’ve ever done, but it has been one of the most fulfilling, challenging and rewarding decisions I’ve made and furthermore I have no regrets. So how about someone who has “come out” twice? Firstly as a gay man and secondly as a depression/anxiety sufferer.
Today I met such a person and the more we got chatting the more I recognised the similarities between the two admissions. The fear of stigma, personal reconciliation, the “journey” towards self-acceptance followed by public admission, reaction of friends, family and colleagues. All were common themes in our discussions and their experience gained over a period of almost 20 years will help me develop a similar support network for my colleagues who have experience of mental illness. This support network needs to address concerns about confidentiality and anonymity and honest and open communication depending on what stage of the “journey” towards self acceptance and admission people are at. Not an easy task but one which is suddenly made easier to tackle by working with someone who has been there twice!
All this has come about because of my willingness to talk about my experience with depression and regular readers may recognise my mantra: ” I’m not saying it will be easy. I am telling you it will be worth it”.
How true are those words today.
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