I began to struggle with my mental health at a very young age.
At 19 I went to university and I experienced my first panic attack. I wasn’t coping with my emotions well and I felt very depressed.
Soon after graduating nursing school, my father was diagnosed with brain cancer and my symptoms continued to worsen. I was seen by a doctor who put me on various medications that didn’t seem to help.
I’m 41, a wife, a mother of three and an environmental services housekeeper, living in Whitby, Ontario.
I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder 12 years ago.
Medication works for others but unfortunately didn’t work for me. I attempted to commit suicide a few months after giving birth to my youngest child. So, instead of medication I found other solutions to coping such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT), dialectical behavioural therapy (DBT), fitness and mindfulness.
When it comes to the stigma around mental illness, some days it feels like it’s one step forward, two steps back.
We have come a long way, even in the 12 or so years I have been working in mental health. But every so often there is a trigger that seems to drag us back to the past.
Recently that was borne out on social media when some started to draw a line between a missing outpatient and a violent assault in Whitby. Due to the timing of media releases I can understand people seeing those two pieces of information and wondering about a possible connection. However, many went well beyond fair comment. Many made definitive, libelous and false statements. Even after police had found the patient and stated no connection between the two, some continued pushing the false narrative on social media. Nor did anyone in subsequent posts following the arrest did anyone ever apologize or walk back their previous false allegations.