The world is a funny place


When I started to write this blog and uploaded my book ‘A Mind Not My Own’ I knew that people I worked with, friends on Facebook etc. would see a different side of me, a side that I had kept pretty much secret for the most part of my life. Allowing people to see this side of me, a side I was/am ashamed of, feel guilty about, scared by etc is extremely daunting. As I have said before I am exposing myself to judgement, ridicule, fear, etc. It could have a number of professional and social implications. I’m not so concerned about current employer as they are extremely understanding and supportive. However, as the world goes more online and employers tend to look up Facebook accounts etc, if I was ever to be in a position where I would need to look for a new employer (not something I foresee but you never know) then there may be some issues. But I have done it now and I don’t regret it, it’s important that people see that despite the perception that has commonly been held by society those with Mental Health Issues are productive members of our community and not people you need to worry or be scared that they will be violent or what ever. For the most part Mental Health sufferers are really not that different to anyone else, it’s just a different fight we have.

The thing I suppose I didn’t really expect is the number of people who suffer from Mental Health Issues of on form or another who would actually speak to me directly about them. Share stories, experiences, talk about mine and theirs etc. What I find most interesting is the number of people who confide in me that they are Mental Health Sufferers who you would have not thought did. The number of people who suffer from Mental Health Issues in silence. Maybe telling a few close friends or family but hiding the rest of the time. Hiding the pain, the distress of these disorders.

Whilst I have found it hard to open up and to take of the mask(s) I believe that it is one that was vital for me to do and to persevere with.  By doing so, going to get professional treatment etc I am facing my issues, learning to manage them, working through problems and in general dealing with my Mental Health Issues. Ignoring them, hiding them, masking them, whatever way I was using to cope and appear as “together” as I could ate me up inside. I felt evil, like someone who should be cast aside, locked away from the world. I felt that I couldn’t control my life, that I was losing my mind, literally going insane. While I still can feel like this and by learning to manage my OCD other issues have arisen, I am now able to talk about, write about and discuss with others about my issues etc. I am more able to manage my life, in particular the compulsive aspects of my OCD.



About malensteptoe
I am work for one of Australia's big 4 banks in the System Admin Team. I am also a mental health sufferer. Currently diagnosed with OCD, MDD, Panic Disorder, Anxiety Disorder, Agoraphobia and Trichotillomania. I also write books and a blog. I am an advocate for change of the view towards mental health sufferers. We can and are beneficial people in society, with much to offer and contribute. We are not all violent, actually the percentage of violent tendencies in the mentally ill and those without mental illness are no different. You may work with someone right next to someone with mental illness and never know. So maybe it's time to re-evaluate your opinions?

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