Many people reached out to me when I published, “The Elephant in Our Schools.” Almost all of them had stories to share of experiences with the stigma that accompanies anything related to mental illness. It saddened me to hear from so many people who feel alone and unsupported as they try to navigate this unfamiliar landscape.
I used to write an anonymous personal blog that shared some of my stories, but it has been dormant for a couple of years. The other day, someone commented on one of my old posts, and I realized that there is no reason that these stories should be anonymous – that it only contributes to the idea that we should be ashamed of this illness.
Yet, I know that the people who subscribe to this blog, Engage Their Minds, didn’t sign up to read stories about depression. So, I’ve decided to give this blog a sister, “Great Minds Don’t Think Alike.” This new blog will share stories of depression, some new and some old, offer resources for those who seek them, and encourage everyone to be more understanding and less judgmental of themselves and others. You might eventually read a few stories about Wonderbutt, my depressed bulldog sidekick, and his nemesis, Wigglebutt, who refuses to accept any emotion less intense than perpetual ecstatic happiness.
One effect of my depression is that I often feel burdened by all of the horribleness in the world and feel worse that I do nothing about it. I saw a tweet the other day suggesting we choose just one cause to champion in the new year. This is my cause. Please join me in making mental health a priority and eradicating the stigma of mental illness.