This is a message for you.
Whoever you are, wherever you are reading this, I commend you for your bravery, for your efforts, for your constant strife. I commend you for surviving. I commend you for waking up this morning and pulling yourself out of bed to go to uni or work or to even to get out of your room.
You have survived the first few moments of the day, and that is something that should be applauded because no one but you knows how hard it was this morning to do all that. Just like we did in primary school, give yourself a little pat on the back. You deserve it.
In Australia, 1 in 5 individuals are diagnosed with a mental disorder. The most common mental disorders Australians are diagnosed with are Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Major Depressive Disorder (MDD), and some sort of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD). In some cases, individuals may have just the one disorder, and in other circumstances they are diagnosed with more than one and have symptoms of other disorders. GAD, MDD and OCD are co-morbid disorders, meaning they exist along with something else. Although these disorders overlap at some point, the origins of these disorders are unique for each individual, and as a result we all suffer and survive in differing ways.
Despite technology and health care advancing in leaps and bounds, the negative stigma around mental illness is still prevalent. I encourage all of you to take a stand against this stigma, speak out and encourage others to do the same. People are willing to listen, without judgement and willing to help.
As cliché as it sounds, I want you let you know that you are a survivor. And that is an achievement. An achievement to be proud of.
Tomorrow is a completely new day. A new, blank canvas. A chance for you to do whatever you please.
You are a survivor. Keep on surviving.