The Intimidation Factor: Hiding My Mental Illness




Despite my apparent bravery and noted eloquence on the topic of my mental illness, statistics like these make me want to crawl back into a deep, dark hole and pretend I’ve never heard of it.

In fact, I almost didn’t share this infographic* for that very reason. Reasonably speaking, this makes no sense, given that my previous posts have already shredded the bag from whence the cat came. And given that the whole point of this blog is to refuse to keep my illness in the dark regardless of how it is perceived, I have so far past regard for what future employers or clients might think of all this, that one more statistic shouldn’t make a difference. But none of that stopped the anxiety from rising within as I read this infographic and the brief accompanying article (I mean, ketamine, really? Isn’t that a horse tranquilizer?) and imagined what prospective clients and future anyone’s will think of me.

Over two months of missed work. Three times more likely to get diabetes. How much lost in annual productivity because of poor workplace performance? No wonder it isn’t legal to ask about someone’s health before you hire them. Meanwhile, here I am putting it all out there for anyone to see. What the hell was I thinking?!

Oh right. I was thinking, no one judges someone who has a physical handicap, develops cancer, has M.S., or gets sick or disabled in pretty much any other way. I was thinking, mental illness kills many more people than is entirely necessary due to a lack of understanding and poor education on the topic. I was thinking, it isn’t fair that so many people, not to mention children and teenagers, suffer in silence because they are afraid to be judged, made fun of, or looked down upon. I was thinking, sure it will be hard, but someone has to say it and I’m not doing much else, so it might as well be me.

So, here I am. Many of these statistics apply to me, but I am not only a statistic. And if you take the time to read what I write and think about what it is that I’m doing here, I am sure you will see that it (and I) have great value.

*If you can’t read the infographic, click on it and you will be brought to the original article.






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