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Hi Friends,

As I am recovering from Mental Illness, I am striving to increase mental health awareness through perspective changes.

Many go through life suffering with illness or poor mental health and fail to ask for the help that they need. I spent at least twenty years not only suffering, but fuelling my mental health with negativity. It took me this long, and hitting rock bottom, to realize that it was not my fault and that I deserved the help that I needed.

We don't have to fight this battle alone. Don't let the negative stigma of mental illness stop you from seeking help. We can live happy and productive lives, free of mental illness, if we just make the first step. Find support!

Most people often don't consider getting help for fear of shame and embarrassment. This has gone on for far too long. People are so worried about being judged by others, but often we are our own worse critics. Tell yourself, today, that you deserve a life worth living!

Please help me to conquer the negative stigma of mental illness by joining in on my discussion. Changing people's perspectives is the first step to fight this battle.

I was diagnosed bipolar and suffered from depression for about 8 years. My bipolar "behavior" I now believe to have been caused by drug addiction. Being medically discharged from the Army at 23 years-old because of Crohn's disease and a back injury had a huge effect on my psyche. Opiates, of course, were prescribed, and I've got nothing against them, they're necessary in some cases. I just didn't have much self-control at the time so I went a little crazy with the pain pills.

This continued for several years until I REALLY started abusing them thangs!! When I sought help I was hit with the dual diagnosis rap, and was prescribed antidepressants as well as antipsychotics, specifically cymbalta and risperidone, I've also been on seroquel. Despite the large amounts of pills I was taking, I was still just as bad off as ever so I thought, 'something ain't right here.'

I've now been off of all such meds for three years and I've never been better. I personally believe that through proper nutrition and a healthy lifestyle we can maintain our mental and physical health at optimum levels without prescription meds. After all, every "medicine" comes from nature originally. Then big pharma gets their grubby little hands on it, isolate the chemical that produces the most results with an acceptable amount of risk, and pump it out in production-line fashion. Next they incentivize doctors to prescribe their new wonder drug, grease the political wheels by means of lobbyists, and rake in the shekels.

That is how it works, like it or not. Some will disagree with the way I choose to word the process, and that's great. We should all have our own opinions, and would do well to question our own beliefs, at least as much as we question all others. This has been my experience with mental illness thus far. I like the term 'mental imbalance' better by the way, it allows room for a cure. Like I said, I disagree with my diagnosis in the first place, but I know if it happened to me then it's happened to others.

Let me be very clear about one thing: I am in no way urging anyone to stop taking meds, or to leave their healthcare pros out of the loop. We've all got our own path to walk and what works for one will not work for all. The key is that you find a point of balance in your life. Then we can go from surviving to thriving. <3

Do you have a mental illness that you are willing to publicly share? Billions of people suffer without ever being diagnosed and treated! My first step to seeking the help that I needed was reaching out to a social network that I was on, crying for help by asking for advice. When I heard other's stories of how they sought out treatment, it gave me the strength to call for help.

Please share your story and empower others to find help before it's too late.
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