Dear Jewish Community:
You might know me as that friendly teenager that comes from that really great family. You might know me as that kid you see around Shul on Shabbat. Maybe you even know me as your child’s camp counselor or babysitter. Maybe I’m your daughter or son’s friend; maybe I’m your friend. All those are great ways for you to look at me, but what I’m about to say might change that; though, I really hope it doesn’t. I have wanted to share this for so long now and honestly, I’m not sure what has been holding me back.
I am a teenager that struggles with mental illness.
I have been struggling with anxiety, depression and suicidal ideation for as long as I can remember. Though at this point, I don’t know that “struggle” is the right word anymore. My mental illness does not define me. And I hope that after reading this you can still see me like everything you did before.
The only way to end the stigma is to talk about it and share our stories. Please don’t be shy. I look forward to sharing some of mine with you soon. Together, we will IYH (if God wills it) end the stigma in the Jewish world.
More of Tamara’s posts to follow shortly
Please click here to read other pieces pertaining to stigma
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