Being a Mental Health Advocate
When I created Wholeness Journey, I already considered myself to be a mental health advocate. I decided once and for all to spread awareness of issues that are central to people who suffer from mental illness.
Anyone can be an advocate. That includes family, friends, and mental health professionals.
To begin with, we need to learn as much as we can about this often misrepresented issue.
And we need a safe place where we can go to learn, and to trade information and personal stories with each other.
Let’s be sure to ask ourselves how can we represent ourselves in the community? We need to have a visible presence.
How can family and loved ones represent us?
And how can we pass that information along without alienating anyone?
How to Eliminate the Stigma of Mental Illness
Most people with mental illness feel stigmatized by society. To eliminate this stigma, we need to create a positive presence as advocates.
It is imperative that we start with a mentality of togetherness. We can support each other in rising above the stereotypes that have shaped us.
By fostering an attitude of unity, we’ll present ourselves as a progressive and dynamic force.
We are not our illness. We are people with problems, just like everyone else.
Sometimes, reaching out and taking someone’s hand is the beginning of a journey. At other times, it is allowing another to take yours.
My name is Dylan and I started this blog because I struggle with mental illness in my daily life. I also identify as a transgender male. My pronouns are he/him or they/them.
Because of my naturally curious and persistent nature, I have studied a lot about mental illness and related mental health issues. My interest in this topic began when I was 15 and experienced my first major depressive episode.
But, realistically, I began to show symptoms of mental illness at a much younger age.
Interesting Facts About Me
I have had selective mutism since I was as young as 7 years old. I literally cannot speak some of the time, especially when I’m anxious! It is way more than just being shy. It has impacted my life in significant ways.
I took Psychology in university, but dropped out because I lacked the attention span to continue. I had yet to discover that I have ADHD.
I have a 2-year Computer Programmer diploma.
Right now, I am pursuing certification as a Life Coach. This time, it’s going a lot better. I am aware now that I have ADHD, and I’m taking medication for it. I also have a lot of tools in my belt that I didn’t have before.
I am a recovered alcoholic. Almost 7 years sober!
I have been diagnosed with:
- Borderline Personality Disorder
- Major Depressive Disorder
- social anxiety
- generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
- complex PTSD
- an eating disorder
- alcohol use disorder
That’s a lot to deal with. Finding out what is “wrong” with me has been a very validating and enlightening experience.
While I identify as being mentally ill, I will not let it define me!
Why I Created This Blog
Wholeness Journey is a wee venture that was created to help folks with mental illness, ADD/ADHD, addictions, and gender identity issues. I wanted to create a safe place for people to be who they are, without fear of rejection or criticism.
Right now, I am just one person trying to make a difference. But I hope that with other peoples’ support and assistance, we can grow to become a single loud voice that raises awareness and support for mental health in Canada.
It is also my mission to enable people at all stages of their journey to make the difficult move from mental illness to mental wellness. The focus will be on providing a multitude of resources for improving mental and emotional well-being.
We’re on this Journey together, so let’s go!