Whilst I am studying psychology and counselling, this does not make me a qualified psychologist or counsellor. If you are experiencing symptoms that you think may be related to PTSD then please contact your GP at your earliest convenience. The thoughts and comments contained within this post are my own and everyone’s experience will be varied.
I was asked a really interesting question on Quora, recently. Someone requested that I answer the following question:
“Were you able to gain anything positive after you experienced a traumatic event?”`
I thought this was a brilliant question and it’s not something I thought about before. Like most people, I see my mental illness as something negative.
Mental Health Stigma
We always say about the stigma that’s involved in mental health and the majority of us do advocate for change to make more people talk out about it. However, when it comes to our mental health it’s a negative, life-altering/destroying condition that leaves a lot of us very drained, or worse, suicidal.
Are We Hypocrites?
Maybe? The answer is I don’t know. I know for me I hate it, I just want a normal life, but on the flip side of the coin, I wouldn’t be as strong as I am if this hadn’t happened to me. I’m proud of the fact I am a little gobshite and I have no fear of anything.
So, when I was asked this question I really had to think about my answer. I thought I’d share the answers I came up with the hope that it makes you, the reader, think about your own mental health and hopefully, come up with at least a handful of positive things that have come from it.
Without my childhood experiences, I would be a very different person and whose to say it would be for the better?
Due to what I went through, I’ve gone on to make positive changes and it’s easier for me to just write them as numbered points:
- I’ll never be like my abusers so all the negative things they did to me, on me and around me taught me how to be a good person. I’m a better person that has empathy and compassion for people and animals.
- I was able to go on to counsel children like myself, and others in different situations with the NSPCC.
- Due to my horrible home life, I lost myself in books and drawing, I could escape into them. I feel like due to this I’m a much more creative person than I would have been.
- School was my escape so I have always been a good student which is another positive impact.
- I’m now studying Psychology in order to further help children.
- I’ve helped others by sharing my story, I have been able to talk them through how to get help and what to do in certain situations.
- I’m completely teetotal and far healthier for it.
- I nurture my relationships with people, all of them are precious.
- I never stay mad for long, and I forgive easily.
- I work hard to understand other mental illnesses, I never judge anyone because you never know what someone is going through. Instead, I try to understand them, understand their thought processes and then ask how I can help them.
What About You?
I was emotional when I finished writing it out, I considered removing a few things as I didn’t want to seem like I enjoyed having this mental illness, but then I thought,
“No, this is all true. I should keep it, maybe it’ll help someone else.“
What about you guys, gals and non-binary individual’s? Can you think of some positive aspects or lessons learned from your mental health condition, or maybe it’s a physical condition you are afflicted with that has changed your life, but there are positive perks to it? Let me know in the comments.