World Mental Health Day: The Stigma Struggle is Real

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When it comes to mental health, the stigma struggle is real. I was 23 when I started having anxiety attacks and I remember that the feeling of shame was nearly as powerful as the anxiety itself. “Why can’t I control this?” “Why can’t I get a grip?” were questions I asked myself from bed where I was already shaking, heart racing, and sick. I’ve actually said before that it’s my greatest shame. But it shouldn’t be.

I spoke to a large group of women last year and on a whim asked who else suffered from anxiety. I was shocked that nearly everyone in that room raised her hand and I nearly cried from the wave of unity I felt in that moment. We aren’t alone, we have nothing to be ashamed of, and blessedly, there is help. Counseling, EMDR, and some of my own tools I’ve created as I’ve learned what works for me have all made such a difference over the years. So has meditation, which is a main reason I’m so excited to begin teaching it. My attacks are rare now but I don’t think it’s something that will ever leave me completely.

If you suffer from a mental health condition, start conversations about it. Educate yourself. Seek support and treatment. And don’t let it define you. To the rest of the world, help us break the stigma by recognizing it’s not something we can control, push aside, or in many cases just take a pill for. Ask us how you can help, or just listen and give us some grace. DO NOT tell an anxiety sufferer that there’s nothing to worry about or that we’re overreacting.

If you have questions about offering support, want my support, or want to share your story, please comment or DM me. I’m here for this, today and every day.

#worldmentalhealthday

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Self-development expert and Entrepreneur Kimberly Novosel first came onto the Nashville fitness scene as the creator of Verticity indoor cycling studio. A published author and columnist, an accomplished speaker, and a sought after entrepreneur, Kimberly currently co-owns outdoor adventure company Alternate Routes, is Co-Owner and Editor here at Elsewhere, and has a new wellness studio concept in the works.