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.
If you liked this article, check out our Stop The Stigma Collection.
I could not find where to respond Ti’s your experience in mental hospital’s . I was diagnosed in late 30’s after living my whole life without any thoughts of the cause. My adopted father has a degree in psychology and dint put it together. I have many stories but wish to give my thoughts on going into the hospital of rehab and behavioral health. Why is this the name? I was taken in through the emergency room, the police, and just a few weeks ago considered and questioned the mental hospital about checking self. You have to be admitted by others. 1st. And main thought is why must I be treated as a prisoner. All personal items were stripped from me. I actually was scared in the lock down side. That is were all admittes were sent first. There was nothing covering windows so in bed I could not rest. I was in there with dangerous people mostly tripping on street drugs. I sat trembling with my back in the corner. After one night I was sent to more relaxed area. Still you could not call out to anyone because of the line to one phone. Also not having my cell phone I had no numbers. I had no way of telling most close friends were I was. After 3 days of wonderful interactions and drugs I told my family I was being released. My psychologist dad had my sister call and tell them I threatened them so they would not release me. I was sent back to lock down from my room at the end of hall with one whole wall if windows. I’m still dealing with this separation from my family at 51 years old. I have been hospitalized 3 times. Overall I have said that was the best thing that has happened to me because I knew I was not alone and many people suffer even worse than I. I don’t understand the identity being striped and the degraded feelings you must go thru first. So much so I will not put myself in for very much needed support and help. I suffer more everyday that I live. I have one friend that excepts me. Everyone including my first family don’t want to be around me. I can’t get enough motivation and education fast enough,however it does come in bits and pieces. I am thankful for the days I FEEL normal. I need friends with the same disorder to communicate. I am thankful for this opportunity to express.
Thank you so much for sharing…I’m so sorry for your struggle. There definitely need to be some changes made to the way mental health is handled.