It is widely assumed that you cannot possibly have depression because there always people ‘worse off’ then you. That is true but it isn’t some sort of binary choice and it’s not as if I have made a choice either. I wish I could be content but something in my make up gets in the way.
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I am ridiculously open with my students about my mental health when I need to be. If there is a student who is struggling emotionally and is diagnosed or is wondering if they should seek intervention, I will tell them that I have biploar disorder, that it’s really hard sometimes, but that there is also hope that it won’t “ruin” my life. I think it’s good for them to know that you can have a mental health issue and still be a functioning member of society.