Mental Health Stigma in 2021: Who Are You?

By Nancy Virden (c)2021

An acquaintance who is also a therapist asked, “Who are you?”

I said, “Nancy.”

“Who are you?” He asked again.

“A mother.”

“Who are you?” This question followed every answer. A woman, a Christian, a writer, an artist, creative… Eventually he gave up. “Most people cannot go that far,” he said.

It is true that many persons do not know who they are, who they belong to, or how they fit in the world. Sometimes they will try to slap labels on themselves or us such as “OCD” or “Bipolar.” We are not a mental illness any more than someone is a migraine. Stigma implies we are only so much and no more.

It seemed interesting to try the experiment on my son. One day I said to him, “Who are you?”

“Tim.”

“Who are you?”

“Tim.”

This repetition continued. Finally I said, “There’s more to you than your name.”

He answered, “Everything I am is still me. I’m still Tim.”

No grown man has to answer all his mother’s nosey questions. He made a strong point, though. Once we know who we are (and Tim does), we have no need to keep defining it. There is such peace in that head space.

After reaching the end of myself and all known options in 2011, I could listen and learn. Before receiving talk-therapy that challenged negative beliefs, my answers sounded differently. I am nothing and do not matter. My life has no purpose; God will not want me to do good works for him. I will always be depressed. Every loss is my fault.

Today, along with knowing who I am, my identity is also found in whose I am. God loves me and always has. He gives me purpose and that has never changed. Because I choose faith in his Son Christ Jesus, God is my perfect Father filled with love and mercy. He adores me and calls me by name. I am God’s daughter. I am Nancy.

-COMMENTS WELCOME

Today’s Helpful Word

Luke 10:20b “…rejoice that your names are written in heaven.”

Nancy’s latest FREE e-books! Click on the pictures for immediate access:

How the Difference Maker Lifts You Above Depressive Thoughts (c)2020

Stay at Home and Thrive! (c)2020

Always the Fight Ministries (ATFM) has been displaying compassion for those fighting mental illness, addiction, or abuse since 2012. Nancy is the founder and voice of ATFM and openly shares her emotional resurrection from despair.

NOTE: I am not a doctor or a mental health professional, and speak only from personal experiences and observations. In no way is this website intended to substitute for professional mental or behavioral health care.

If you are feeling suicidal, or concerned about someone who is, in the U.S. call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or for a list of international suicide hotlines, go here.

If you are suicidal with a plan, immediately call 911 in the U.S. or go to your nearest emergency room. In the EU call 112. (For other international emergency numbers, go here ). Hope and help are yours!

HOLY BIBLE, NEW LIVING TRANSLATION, COPYRIGHT © 1996, 2004, 2015 BY TYNDALE HOUSE FOUNDATION. USED BY PERMISSION OF TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC., CAROL STREAM, ILLINOIS 60188, PER BIBLE GATEWAY. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. RETRIEVED FROM HTTPS://WWW.BIBLEGATEWAY.COM/

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