A lot of people find that others look at them differently following a diagnosis of mental illness. Sadly, it's still very much the case that society views those of us with chemical imbalances or different neurological pathways as "strange".
There's very little I can say other than my usual spiel about being open and changing perceptions. I think the only way we can change how people look at us is by proving that we are capable of living relatively normal lives. Recently someone pointed out to me that the activities I've been engaging in lately would be considered very "normal". That's because they are, of course. I am capable of living a normal life...most days.
That doesn't mean that I don't get anxious before concerts, knowing that I'm going to spend upwards of two hours surrounded by thousands of people. It doesn't mean that I don't struggle to get out of bed and go to a youth group most days. The nature of my illness is that I genuinely do struggle with going out and doing "normal" things that every other young person does.
The other thing I'm keen to say is that being open about what you're going through is a key point in changing perceptions. If a quarter of us are going to face mental illness at some stage in our lives, how strange can it really be? The only thing that makes it strange is the fact that we don't talk about it. That's part of why I'm running this website and updating this blog. I want to create conversation with view to changing perceptions.
Help me change perceptions and make the world a friendlier place for people with mental illness. Share my blog posts. Donate so I can keep the website up and running. Submit questions for me to address on the blog. Write a guest piece. Together we are absolutely capable of changing the world!