Every year Gnomeaggedon does a series of posts about mental illness in support of Movember. I directed my twitter readers to Gnomeaggedon’s post, and was happy to see the attention that the topic received at WoW Insider. And then, over the weekend I read Karegina’s about anxiety when participating in random groups. It bothered me that she felt impelled to not only suffer an activity she didn’t enjoy, but also, that she was likely exacerbating a symptom of her illness.
While I’m not her, while I haven’t lived her experience, I have lived with mood disorders. I grew up with it, I was diagnosed with it, and I have had to learn to cope with it: to stay employed, to not alienate friends and family, and even to function in a video game. I realized, reading Karegina’s post, that while I’m not particularly excited about sharing my own experiences, that those experiences may have value.
Before reading further there are some things that are likely to be different than my usual posts. This is a very personal topic for me, and I will be heavily moderating comments. I am not seeking sympathy nor advice. In my experience, sharing information about a mood disorder with friends and acquaintances can have negative consequences on relationships. That being said, I also know that without advocacy and information, recognition of mental illness as an illness, a condition, these problems will never improve. Continue reading