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Fear of a Name

When I was first diagnosed with a mental illness I felt like I couldn't talk about it. The only time people talked about mental illness was in extreme circumstances where there seemed to be no hope of recovery. I didn't want to be one of those people, and so I didn't admit to others or myself that I was one.

But the more I started to learn how to live with it, the more I learned that having a mental illness doesn't warrant complete banishment from society. You can live a perfectly happy and successful life working around it.

Around the time that I was first making the decision to talk publicly about my mental illness, I remember one quote standing out to me: "Fear of a name increases fear of the thing itself." While in the original context this quote from the Harry Potter series refers to Voldemort, or "He Who Must Not Be Named," the general principle still applies.

Having a mental illness makes you feel pretty powerless. You can't put a band-aid on it, there's no X-ray or MRI. Any potential solution takes a while before you will see any effect. And that's if it works. However the one power I found over my illness was talking about it and facing it head on.

Unless we talk about the truth of mental illness, the rumours and myths will continue to be the stories that are told. In order to face the situation with courage and preparation, we must know the what we are going up against and not the inflated stories. If we believe those stories, then we will think that this dark monster is some invincible force. When in reality some some research, guidance, and supportive friends and family along the way mental illness, just like Voldemort, can be defeated.




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