Letters: Time for openness

Mental health should not be a hidden disease says letter writer

I believe it’s time for an open discussion on mental health in this community. How can we help an individual who exhibits manic behavior publicly but cannot see that she has a problem? Nor can her family, who blame it on stress. Denial is one of the symptoms of alcoholism; it is also a symptom of mental illness? Contributing to the denial is the stigma of mental illness.

Years ago, when I first began outpatient therapy and educational sessions at Eric Martin Pavilion, I would get off the bus one stop early and sneak in the back entrance. I was totally ashamed of having been diagnosed with two mental illnesses; clinical (chronic) depression and borderline personality disorder.

As I learned more about my illnesses I came to realize that mental illness is not sinful, not something that has to be hidden and is not rare. I was told by a psychiatrist (after seeing four others) that there are three chemicals in my brain that aren’t functioning correctly. He prescribed three different antidepressants  that I take daily. I will be taking these for the rest of my life. There are still emotional “down” times. I handle them as best as I can (read something funny, turn on all the lights, go for a walk, etc.) I live as many in recovery do, “A day at a time.”

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, that you can’t cope any more, that there’s no point in living, please see your doctor. He/she will lead you to whatever treatment you need. Mental illness is serious, it can be fatal.

Doreen Effa

Sooke

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Depression-era’ unemployment figures could hit Greater Victoria

South Island Prosperity Project launches new dashboard to measure effects of COVID-19

French fries to juicy tomatoes, rock art brings joy to walkers in Victoria

James Bay yard filled with painted rocks delights all ages

Langford bartender hosts singalong livestream for seniors

Live Senior Singalong takes place daily at 1 p.m. on Facebook

Langford woman frustrated over visitor restrictions to see 96-year-old mother

Island Health to introduce virtual visits at long-term care facilities

Shot fired through young family’s home in Victoria, man in custody

No injuries reported from incident in 1200-block of Yates Street

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

82% of all test-positive COVID-19 cases in B.C. have recovered

B.C. had 303 active cases as of Saturday, May 23

Most Read