Aren’t you afraid of what people might think of you?
Every now and then I get asked that question since I published Living with the Dragon, launched my online courses on mental health management and publicly opened up about my struggles in the past with depression, anxiety and anger.
The initial fear of going public has long since passed. I overcame that fear of judgement because I also knew that very same fear was preventing me from making a significant contribution to the mental health community, and it is the very same fear that kept my shame alive after all these years. And as everyone knows, when there’s shame, we get stuck at a place of resentment, bitterness and external blaming.
I had a close friend reach out to me recently to talk about his realization he’s been depressed for quite some time, even suicidal. He called me up to talk because he knew it was a safe space for him to open up, whereas he might have felt shame had he talked about it with his family members. I’ve also had relatives and coworkers alike, who found it helpful to talk to me about their battles with mental health challenges. This demonstrates what talking about mental health can do for the people around you. It allows friends, wives, kids, husbands, siblings and coworkers to do the same, because everyone has a need at some point in their lives to talk about their mental health.
Thus, one of the main reasons I’ve become so open about my mental health experiences is so that I can become a platform for my friends to talk about mental health. I imagine the dialogue might be along the lines of:
If Jason can talk about his depression and social anxiety, so can I!
..did you hear that Jason spoke about his struggles with anger? I can relate because my anger has been an issue at times too.
Going public has helped expand the conversations of mental health. Instead of for gossip, speculation and judgement of my stories, I hope my peers can use my experiences as a launching pad to talk about their own problems and what they can do about it.
Thus, I’ll continue having the discussions if it means inspiring others who might be afraid to open up. Kudos to everyone who’s normalized the conversations already about mental health, but the end goal is to break ground to those who are still nervous and uncomfortable talking about it.
Join me today (February 2, 2019) for a FaceBook Live interview with Joyelle Brandt, host of Parenting with PTSD. The interview is scheduled for 4:30pm PST where I’ll be talking about depression, childhood abuse, anger and resources I’ve used to help me get to a state of self-awareness.
Join us for a LIVE interview with Jason Lee of Free the Anger, author of Living with the Dragon: Healing 15000 days of…