This might be a more interesting conversation we have this morning. National Coming Out Day began back in 1988 to encourage people to stop living in the closet and be proud of their sexuality. I identify as Demisexual, leaning towards asexual. Demisexual individuals need a strong emotional bond with someone before they get fully sexually aroused. Asexual individuals show less interest in sex, but that doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy sex. If you want to know more, I recommend you do a quick google search. I have been vocal about this for many years once I learned about and understood these sexualities.
I would also like to make this day about coming out with one’s mental health struggles. Many are ashamed of their mental illnesses. There is no shame in having a mental illness. Sometimes it involves chemicals in your body being out of balance. Sometimes it’s because you faced some awful or difficult situations in your life. Having a mental illness means you survived. Be proud of surviving. I have talked about my personal struggles with PTSD, Anxiety, and Depression. I’m vocal about it and I think those who know me understand and accept me more than they did before. Coming Out Day is really about not having secrets. No secrets from your friends and family. No secrets from yourself. Don’t hide who you are.
In 1992, the World Federation of Mental Health established World Mental Health Day. In almost 30 years, knowledge about mental health a grown a great deal. The biggest goal for this day is awareness. Even today, there are many people who don’t understand the vast mental health issues people struggle with every day. Even the most recognizable disorders such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) still lack awareness in the general public. Worst of all, people with no medical or behavioral health training claim to know about these disorders and spread false information.
I use this blog and others to share my own experiences. I share my first-hand account of struggling with PTSD and how I learned I had PTSD with two goals in mind. First, I want to bring awareness to people who know nothing about mental health issues. Second, I want others who experience the same things to realize they’re not alone. Many people suffer from poor mental health and don’t realize it. And many have no means to seek help. They may not have insurance. They may not have the means or ability to access medication. They may be afraid to take medication or think they don’t need any.
Help spread awareness about mental health by sharing your story. Only share what you’re comfortable sharing. I have found it helpful to talk about my experiences. It was one step I had to take among many to begin the path to healing. I’m still healing and still have a long way to go. Never give up. Never surrender.
Today is also National Chess Day. Where World Mental Health Day is always October 10, National Chess Day is always the second Saturday of October. The strategic game was developed in the fifth century in India. The game has a history of breaking down barriers such as class, language, and cultural. If you’ve never played chess before, I recommend it. Its war scaled down to a smaller size. I think all wars should be fought over a game of chess, so no one dies.
June 27 is PTSD Awareness Day and June is National PTSD Awareness Month. There is a misconception that only service members in the Armed Forces can get PTSD. Anyone can have Post-Traumatic Stress. This can happen after any type of trauma such as being robbed or assaulted. It is not exclusive to military combat. People who experience consistent trauma for several years, such as Prisoners of War (POW) or children who grow up with abusive parents, can develop Complex-PTSD. This is not recognized as separate from PTSD but more like a subcategory. Though most of the symptoms are similar there are a few differences.
PTSD is an anxiety disorder. Sufferers often deal with both anxiety and depression. Symptoms can be severe making it difficult to find medication or treatments that work. I suffered childhood trauma and have lived with PTSD most of my life though I was unaware for most of it. I often use writing to cope with many things I struggle with. I have had difficulty making friends and more difficulty keeping those friends. Most of my struggles I brought on myself. Its only in the last year that I’ve tried to change how I talk to and about myself.
Last year, I self-published a collection of my personal writing from different blogs into one book. Mushaburui: A Mental Health Journey. I shared many things I went through at those times. Many people would comment expressing how much they could relate or how much they appreciated what I wrote. So, today and tomorrow, June 27 – 28, the eBook is free on Amazon Kindle. I hope my thoughts I shared in the book will help others. Click the title in this post or check my Projects Page.
To anyone living with PTSD or any mental illness, you’re not alone. Never give up. Never surrender. It does get better, but first you have to be kind to yourself. That means changing how you think about and talk about yourself. Good luck.