I am a 27-year-old vlogger and blogger for Healthyplace.com advocating for mental health. When I was 19 years old I had a mental breakdown during my Sophomore of college, placing me in a mental hospital where I received a diagnosis of bipolar II disorder. I never thought in a million years I would spend my early twenties learning how to live with bipolar disorder, but that was my reality and an experience I have learned to be grateful for as I get older.
It has taken years for me to understand and accept my mental health condition. It took years to get where I am today and will be a continuous process for the rest of my life, but one that is worth it. This is the mind I have been given and I have to learn to embrace it while I have to live with it. It was not until I got involved in the mental health community that I realized my story had more power than I may have originally believed.
In January 2016 I came out publicly with my personal blog, Halfway2hannah, sharing my story and opening the conversation about mental health. Eventually, I received a job position as an author and vlogger for HealthyPlace. I want people to open their mind up to a different side of mental health, but most importantly I want those people struggling to know they are not alone.
Mental health encompasses everything from schizophrenia to low-self esteem. Of course some are more severe than others, but still under the same umbrella. The stigma of mental illness is the biggest problem in the mental health community. Many people do not seek treatment for fear of being judged by others.
The media is a huge contributor to this problem. People are persuaded to believe that people with mental health conditions are violent, weak, unstable and incapable of contributing to society. This is far from the truth, and opening up this conversation can change people’s negative outlook on mental health.
One major thing that has helped me is finding creative ways to cope. There is no set guidelines for coping skills, it is all about finding what suits your personality. I cope in funky ways that range from doing make up to writing short stories.
A major suggestion of mine is to volunteer and get active in the mental health community. Helping others raises self-esteem and allows you to step outside of your personal struggle. Getting involved in the mental health community can be done through various organizations and even on mediated platforms such as social media. Although social media has its downfalls, it has become a platform for discussing problems in society such as mental health and stigma. Everyone has a story and it deserves to be shared.
Written By: Guest Blogger Hannah Blum
Check out Hannah’s interview with us on our podcast here.
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