Growing up, I didn’t have a positive representation of what it meant to live with mental illness. I had stigma on top of stigma. I knew from young adulthood that I had bipolar disorder and PTSD, but I was terrified to get officially diagnosed. I studied both of these diagnoses in college (I majored in psychology), and I knew that mental illness ran in my family. But I kept telling myself, “No. It’s not me.” I listened to the stigmatized thoughts that everyone had filled my mind with.
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