Tuesday, 15 November 2011
Becky Sue's Story
I was diagnosed with depression when I was 27 years old. I had never experienced such awful feelings and was hospitalized because of my suicidal thoughts and intentions. I was sick for several weeks, but managed to recover, due to antidepressants and therapy.
During my recovery, I found out that my husband had not told anyone that I had been depressed because he was embarrassed, and concerned about the consequences. He was worried that telling my friends, family, and coworkers the truth about my “exhaustion” would have a serious effect on my career. This was my first experience with stigma and it was devastating. Out of fear, I began to hide my illness from others. I’m now 35, and have found that hiding my illness has only lead to more feelings of isolation, despair, hopelessness, and shame.
I am supporting Strides Against Stigma because I want to live in a stigma free world. The struggle to get better when I am depressed is enough to worry about. Depression is a serious illness, and these days I tell everyone I have it. I’m not ashamed, and I shouldn’t need to hide it to protect my career, my family, or my friends. We can remove the stigma of depression and spread hope through understanding and acceptance!