Part of why mental health is so stigmatized is that it’s treated as though the person who is dealing with symptoms is doing so purposefully, and thus, their bad mood, sleeping in late or struggle to enjoy themselves is taken personally. For those of you who have experienced it, you may know the fear of judgment that comes when you have to talk about your mental health. It can be so hard to speak up when you need to.
One of the things that is particularly hard for me is creating opportunities for myself to be alone and articulating what I need. I struggle to have conversations with my family about how the physical environment, or the feeling that I need to be present with everyone at all times, has a severe impact on my mental health. I also struggle with thinking things out ahead of time. In retrospect, if I had spent some time preparing myself and thinking about what it could, or would be like, during each part of the trip, I could have done certain things differently or not done them at all. I love being with my family, but this past family gathering, I wish that I had been more proactive both before and during the trip.