Today, apparently, is Time to Talk day, another attempt to de-stigmatise mental health problems. I have mixed feelings about this. I still feel ashamed having to admit that I have mental health issues. A few weeks ago, I registered with a new doctor. I went in to make an appointment and the receptionist asked me what the gist of the problem was. I must have looked hesitant because she lowered her voice to inform me that it helped the doctor to know the problem in advance. I lowered my voice but tried to look unashamed when I replied but I didn’t succeed. I fumbled my words. “Um, it’s mental iss… mental health. A mental health check-up, general check-up. Depression.” This has happened before. I become an idiot, full of bravado and obviously cowed or I become a stuttering mess. So maybe Time to Talk initiatives are helpful if they can stop sufferers feeling so embarrassed.

On the other hand, I can’t help wondering whether talking to anyone other than professionals should be encouraged. I’m pretty sure my friends wish I had never said anything to them. The darkest thoughts are not thoughts that should be shared. Nobody should worry anyone, scare them, force them to deal with the black stuff.

If something could stop me feel ashamed, that would be great. If I could go back and stop myself from sharing with my friends, that would be better because maybe I’d still have people to talk to.



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