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ok so everyone knows the first step towards getting help for your anxiety/depression/bipolar what ever disorder it is you have is to admit you need that help. I struggle with admitting I need that help. I was raised to believe that being mentally ill some how made you less.. human… less normal. It wasn’t considered ok for me to admit i might have anxiety or depression or anything else.  In fact mental health in general was a taboo in my house. Because of my mother being bipolar and my fathers violent past with her (before they divorced they were both quite violent with each other) my father and his wife forbade us children to even so much as mention mental health. A bit hypocritical of them since every time I did something bad (a bad grade, a dirty room e.c.t) they accused me of being bipolar and crazy like my mother. I believe the reason they didn’t allow us to speak of our mental health was fear. Partially because they didn’t understand bipolar disorder, they knew what it was yes, but that was the extent of their knowledge on it. I think it was very frightening to them to even think for a second one of, perhaps even more than one of, their children might have bi polar disorder or any mental health issues. Especially to my father who probably blamed my moms illness for her violent actions towards him in the past. I can’t blame either of one them really, living with someone who struggles with mental illness isn’t an easy thing no matter the disorder they may have. Still years of seeing how they treat mental health, how they tipy-toed around anything having to do with mental health, seeing their fear of disorders such as bipolar disorder made me fear mental illness for a long time myself. I always knew that my mental health wasn’t exactly normal, and while I am 99% sure I don’t have anything like bi polar disorder I know I suffer from anxiety and at times depression. It has taken me five years but I have finally admitted that yes I struggle with my mental health and no there is no shame in that. Even now, with as much acceptance as I have towards mental health and those who struggle with it I am still refuse to go see a psychologist and get an official diagnosis. Partially because I don’t believe I need a diagnosis. My anxiety and depression can get really bad some days yes but for the most part I can manage it with this blog, talking to a friend or seeing my therapist. My parents have ingrained a fear in me that if I am officially diagnosed with a severe enough disorder my life won’t be normal. I won’t be able to work, I won’t be able to have kids eventually and everyone I love will leave me. I know this fear isn’t logical but  it is the result of years of being told that being mentally ill was the worst thing that could happen to someone.  My worst fear with going to see a psychologist would be to be diagnosed with bipolar disorder. My mother has it, my brother has it, so the chances of me having it is very high as well.  I am ashamed to admit that despite my brother and mother having bi polar i don’t know much about it. Other than there are two types, manic and depressive, and that a diagnosis of it is a life changing event that is all I really know. I am afraid to learn more because if I was diagnosed with it and I learned that I couldn’t have children or I wouldn’t be able to work anymore I’d be devastated. Again I realize these fears are absurd, my best friend is also bi polar and leads a normal life, with a husband, an adorable 1 year old boy, and a perfectly good job as  housekeeper for a hotel. My mothers life is normal too, while she doesn’t work she does get government help and she and her mom share a mobile home together. My brother is in a group home but he is doing well too. I think it is about time I get over my fear and maybe just maybe go see a psychologist. I can at very least start with becoming more educated about bi polar disorder and it’s effects on those diagnosed with it.

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