I was hospitalized at McLean Psychiatric from 11/14-11/20 for PTSD, anxiety, depression, and suicide ideation.
It is not something I am embarrassed by. I am a strong person, a hard worker, and an accomplished scholar, but I needed help. Most of us do, at times.
Since I have left Mclean, people have treated it as if it was something to be ashamed of. Instead of welcoming me back, they give silent looks and avoid asking questions. When I try to bring up a story from the hospital amongst friends, suddenly the room becomes silent and uncomfortable. People change the topic quickly. I sometimes feel the urge to lie to people about why I had been missing for so long.
I spent a week of my life in a very interesting place, a place only a limited number of people ever see the inside of. I saw many fascinating things behind those doors. I’d love to share my story and talk about my recovery with others.
For most people, I understand the first instinct is to not talk about something to someone out of the assumption that they may not want to talk about it. But in most cases, people want to talk about what’s going on with them so that they don’t feel alone.
If someone doesn’t want to talk about it, they will let you know. Chances are, they want to talk; even if they didn’t, they will never think less of you for caring about them or being curious about what was going on.
I want to be as open about this as possible to prove that we should never be ashamed of what we are, and also to set precedent for others to speak up about their own struggles. To ask for help takes the utmost strength for many of us, so why should we be silent?”