As a world filled with mental health stigmas and millions of authors, you may be asking what mental illness has to do with me being a writer. I’ll tell you. Though it took me a long time to figure it out.
I suffer from depression, anxiety, and panic attacks. I was also afraid to tell anyone around me about my depression and anxiety because of my shame. Who would understand me? What would people think? I was a walking taboo. So I decided after a lot of debate and encouragement from my husband to start talking more openly about it, So, with my last two novels, I started to address mental health in subtle ways. I decided the best way for me to entertain readers AND contribute to the mental health community is through my writing. I didn’t want to feel ashamed… or alone any longer.
When I write psychological thrillers I include some form of mental illness. I want to entertain readers while informing them about mental health issues. To erase the stigma with my words is a passion of mine because some people still associate mental illness with negativity and makes them see us a less than a human being. And hearing people downplay my own illness upsets me.
I’m trying to break the stigma and tear down the walls of mental illness. I want society to see us as people. That mental illness doesn’t define us and that we are people who do every day activities just like anyone else. We’re not monsters. We have a little more to deal with than the average person. What I mean is, we have to handle every day life and battle the demons inside our heads.
Forget what you see in movies because it isn’t accurate. They portray anyone with a mental illness as some kind of monster. My biggest suggestion is to read up about and/or talk to someone who has the illness. Get to know them and see for yourself that they are people too.
We need to come together as a community to break the chains and tear down the walls of mental illness stigmas.