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Showing posts from March, 2015

'Imagining Inclusion'

Do you feel part of your community? Do you have a community? What is community?

One of the gifts that I gained after experiencing depression has been, oddly enough, a sense of community, of being part of something bigger. But let me tell you, when I was in the depths of the illness, I certainly felt all alone.

A classic hallmark of depression is a feeling of isolation. The illness has a way of ensuring that, most of the time, you do the opposite of what you should be doing to be a healthy, functioning member of society. You stay home when you could be out for dinner with your friends. You pull away from loved ones because you don't want them to see the pain that you are feeling. You fall prey to the negative dialogue in your head and the self-stigma. Get it together! What is wrong with you?!

Frankly, society doesn't really help matters. Often, it makes things worse. Why is there such a thing as self-stigma? Why do we believe that mental illness is just weakness? Partly becaus…