When talking to someone about our mental health problems there’s a tendency to feel a lot of guilt and shame. Blogging is no different. I often see people apologize for discussing their mental health woes.
Sorry for what I’m about to tell you. Sorry for bothering you. Sorry for ruining your day. Sorry for venting. Sorry for being negative. Sorry for talking about sad stuff. Sorry, sorry, sorry!
Allow me to offer the following definitions:
Definition of shame: “A painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.” (google.com)
Definition of guilt: “The fact of having committed a specified or implied offense or crime… a feeling of having done wrong or failed in an obligation.” (google.com)
I don’t know about you but I don’t see how discussing mental health fits either of those definitions!
There are of course legitimate things to feel guilt and shame over: violent crime, stealing, violating someone’s trust, saying mean things to someone for no good reason, etc. One shouldn’t feel shame or guilt for talking about their own mental health, though.
It’s the lingering stigma and people’s attitudes toward mental health that can cause us to feel this way.
I do feel like this is changing though. I was talking to a coworker recently and we were swapping a few notes about our various mental health struggles and also what has worked and not worked when it comes to therapy and medication and other stuff like that. At no time did I think, oh, I shouldn’t be talking about this kind of stuff at work. It just seemed rather natural.
It’s not quite the dark ages anymore. The lighted path is here and ready for our use.
Every Monday from now until I get tired of it I will be posting on various mental health topics. That’s a joke actually as I never get tired of talking about mental health!
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