My Thoughts Get Weird Sometimes And that's Okay
Instead of lying when I have to cancel plans, I started saying: "Sorry I can't make it, I'm having a bout of depression/had a panic attack/flashbacks/anxiety...etc."
I expected to be uninvited from all future outings with an eye-roll and a quip about getting over it.
Instead I've heard: "Thanks for being honest. I actually have [insert mental health concern] too. Isn't it [adjective]? Hope you feel better."
Maybe I have a lot of nervous friends, but possibly, just perhaps, mental health issues are more common than we think and are no different than suffering from periodic migraines, frequent colds or having a deviated septum. Some people have it worse than others, but everyone deserves love, attention and access to good resources.
With a background in scientific publishing and research, I have set out to create a safe, reliable space where comforting information is abound. Tack onto that 10 years of firsthand experience seeing professionals, trying medication, interviewing others and doing research on every topic I found interesting and it seems I may have learned some things, but there is so much more out there!
The less we keep quiet about it, the less lame excuses we will need to conjure up. The faster we learn to support each other, the quicker the stigma will be gone. Let's learn, share, discuss and create a good example of how others with mental illness should be treated.