This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of Hayley Oliver Hayley Oliver 2 months ago.

Hi everyone! :)

  • Profile photo of Hayley Oliver

    Hello Kinions! I’m really excited to be a part of this community. I’ve been subscribed to Kati for a long time, and her videos have helped me understand a lot about my own mental health issues and mental health in general.

    A little bit about me: I’m a 20-year-old college student studying music therapy and theatre. I’m currently finishing a semester off from school for recovery purposes. I love all things Disney and my dream is to be a cast member at Walt Disney World.

    There’s nothing I love more than helping others on their mental health journeys, so please don’t hesitate to talk with me about anything you’d like to. Things I have personally experience with are depression, social anxiety, OCD (“typical” and pure O), suicidal ideation, and self harm.

    Thanks for reading, friends!
    Hayley πŸ™‚

    Profile photo of Samantha

    Hi Hayley!

    So nice to have you here as well πŸ™‚ Thank you for your kindness and willingness to help people on this site. It takes a big heart to offer that. I admire your openness to discuss mental health issues and sharing about your own experience.

    I have to know…what’s your favorite Walt Disney quote? I’m a quote person and I need to know lol

    Anyway, can I ask you a question? How do you cope with the stigma surrounding mental health conditions? What is your experience with it or the (unjustified) shame of mental illness? Thank you for being here πŸ™‚

    Profile photo of Hayley Oliver

    Hi Samantha! So sorry I haven’t replied, I somehow just saw that I had a notification! Life has been a bit crazy lol. Ok, let’s see, Walt Disney quotes. One of my favorites is the Keep Moving Forward quote featured in Meet the Robinsons (I have a sticker of it on my laptop). But I also love this one that I think relates a lot to mental health recovery: β€œLife is composed of lights and shadows, and we would be untruthful, insincere, and saccharine if we tried to pretend there were no shadows.” I’m obsessed with quotes, too! What are some of your favorites?

    Of course! Feel free to ask me anything you want! That’s a great question. The way I see it, stigma comes in two parts. There’s the kind of stigma that actually blocks you from getting what you need (insurance companies not paying for mental healthcare, teachers or professors not giving you allowances when you need them, parents or guardians not allowing you to go to therapy, etc.). Then there’s the stigma that doesn’t stop you from getting help directly, but makes you feel embarrassed, selfish, or stupid for getting help. This usually comes in the form of things people say to us about our mental health that are ignorant and unkind. Which one of those would you like to know more about, or both? I don’t really have time to dive into it all right now as it’s rather late where I am, but I definitely want to do so! I just wanted to write you a quick reply so you didn’t think I was ignoring you. πŸ™‚

    Profile photo of Samantha

    No worries! I love that quote. There are many quotes that are all about focusing on the positive and removing the negative from our lives, so it’s nice to see one that acknowledges the reality of the tough parts of life. One of my favorite quote is by F. Scott Fitzgerald. “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

    Thank you for answering my question and being open to continue talking about it. I hadn’t thought about differentiating stigma into two types. I agree that that ignorance of mental health in people of power(those who we need something from) can be damaging and physically prevent us from getting what we need. Not enough people in high places are enacting real change in how accessible mental health treatment is. As someone who volunteers with my local mental health organization I know what you mean by your second form of stigma.

    Which one of these have you experienced the most? How do you or have you coped with it? I look forward to hearing from you πŸ™‚

    Profile photo of Hayley Oliver

    Ok, here we go. Stigma. Let’s do it.

    I think I’ve encountered the “people in power” type more. In my experience, people in my life who I expect to look down on me, shame me, not believe me, etc. tend to actually respond pretty well when I finally get the nerve to talk to them. They might not understand it, and I might have to do a lot of explaining, but they usually accept the important facts, which are:
    1. I’m suffering.
    2. It’s not my fault or in my control.
    3. There is help available and I should get it.
    Often, our fear of how parents, family, friends, etc. will react is built up in our heads, because we don’t get to see examples of people expressing their mental health issues very much. Stigma is so ingrained into us that we can become paranoid. It’s important to do the best we can to differentiate between what facts are telling us and what our brains are telling us (EXTREMELY difficult for anyone, I know, particularly the mentally ill, but hey, it’s gotta be done). You might be pleasantly surprised.

    As for the “people in power” type, the best advice I can give is KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Learn about the Americans with Disabilities Act and what it means for you. Ask your school counselor what resources are available to you. Register with Disability Services at your university. Have people with power in your corner as much as possible.

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