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Denying an Illness Won't Make It Go Away

Denying a mental illness or mental health condition won't make it disappear. Some people try to ignore symptoms at a very high price, costing them years of their life; joy, happiness, and personal freedom.

Some people hide parts of themselves that may have the answer to addiction, depression and suicidal thoughts. I did. I hid aspects of myself, wishing they would just go away. I felt embarrassed, ashamed and loathed aspects of myself that caused me to get into trouble with alcohol and drugs and to have difficulties with intimate relationships.

I tried to hide my symptoms from myself and others because I believed that mental illness meant I was damaged, unloveable and unworthy of having a happy life.

But it never made the symptoms go away. I just got further away from others that cared about me and from getting well. Often when people discount important aspects of themselves they may feel anxious, angry or engage in violence, directed inward or outward, hurting others. Some people put themselves down by scolding, telling themselves they are fat, ugly or referring to themselves as a procrastinator or stupid.

For me, recovery began when I decided to let go of the stigma of mental illness, stopped ignoring parts of myself I did not like and actually went searching for them with appreciation and curiosity. I embraced my unique coping mechanisms, found their purpose and said "thank you" for being in my life up until now.

Instead of ignoring symptoms of mental illness, I identified them, allowed for a diagnosis so that I could discover what to do about what I did not like and what was not working, And everything in my life began to change.

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