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People do not choose mental health problems! They battle them!!!

Nobody could understand it.
They were all flabbergasted. Some bemused, some angry, some just shocked.
“Why on earth would he have a broken leg?” Someone exclaimed. “Especially when he had a really well paid job.”
“Why should he have diabetes?” Said another. “When he had such a pretty wife!”
“There’s just no need for him to have cancer.” When he has so many good friends!
“Self, self, self, such a loving family and he goes and gets MS.” “It’s just attention seeking!”
“It’s preposterous!” “Such a handsome fella, girls around him like bees around a honey pot.” “And he decides to get meningitis.”
“Why on earth would he choose that?”
“When he had everything to live for!!!”

Mental illness is not a choice!
It is not a lifestyle option!
It is as real, frightening and debilitating as any physical illness.
It knows no prejudice. Age, gender, ethnic origin, I.Q. physical appearance, economic bracket or sexual orientation.
People do not choose mental health problems!
They battle them!!!
Sometimes alone, sometimes with help.
The stigma and barrier to talking about and overcoming mental illnesses are being gradually broken down. But the war is not yet won!

Suffering from OCD since childhood, plus the anxiety and depression that tags along for the ride. I have personal experience of mental illness.
And in my 52 years I have seen giant strides in the tolerance, understanding and treatments for what is a blight on so many lives and society in general.
But there is still a long way to go!

I recently lost a good friend, who took his own life after being crippled by depression.
And so it is essential to keep talking about mental illness. Supporting charities and organisations such as Mind, Sane, OCD Action, Black Dog Tribe and many others who work tirelessly to help people and their families who are touched by mental illness.
It is only by doing this that we take away the power and mystique from mental illness.
And laid bare, mental illness is just a cowardly bully who picks on the vulnerable and who knows no pity.

Together we can defeat it!

Kind regards,


Comments (2)
  1. Really well said. I’m also struggling, not only with the mental illness that pushes down on my shoulders every minute of every day… But against the endless stigma too. As if the actual illnesses weren’t bad enough to be up against but we’ve also got the stigma to wade through. I have battled with depression, anxiety, OCD, an eating disorder and with BPD for a long time. To look at me, I look like any other 28 year old. Inside, I feel hopeless. Burned out and dead inside. Because OCD especially, is a very tough illness to explain to those who don’t experience it. And though I put their ignorance down to not having first hand experience of it… I sometimes wish people were at least better informed from a younger age. When someone with cancer meets another person for the first time, they don’t have to elaborate and explain how their cancer is not just a quirky trait or a habit… They don’t have to explain that their cancer is actually a serious problem, not one to be mocked. They just don’t have to explain. Why should OCD be any different? Why do I need to explain to people how bad this disorder is? Why should I have to? I guess it goes for all mental illness. You’re right, it has improved. But in Ireland, for example, we’ve a hell of a long way to go to even be where the UK is at, in terms of advocacy and education. It seems to be up to us, the patients who are struggling to make it through each hour of each day, to enlighten the ignorant. I also lost my best friend to suicide 6 years ago. She was 22.
    Thank you for sharing this. You’re right, laid bare, it IS just a cowardly bully. Take care

    • Avatar photo

      Hi Ave,

      Thank you for your comment!

      You raise a great point about stigma. It is a lack of education and the media doesn’t help when they air shows like ‘compulsive cleaners’. Stigma still frustrates me to this day, but I try to draw my attention back to whats important – recovery. Keep fighting the good fight, but never forget to focus on your own recovery.

      Sorry to hear about your friend. That must have been tough.

      You sound like a very brave person, keep going. And if you ever wanted any tips, advice, help or just a chat reach out at

      To your success,

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