It makes me cringe when people self-diagnose mental illness from the internet.

Because they wallow in it for days, weeks, months. Am I depressed; do you think I am schizophrenic; I heard the wall talking what do you think it meant? It means there was a radio in the apartment next door…?

Whatever – get thee to the psychiatrist!

Unless of course you are like some of my family and don’t “believe” in psychiatrists. Then I say get thee to the self-help section of your local bookstore ASAP. (You may find self-help cleverly disguised as “well-being”. I mean, really, who wants to admit they need “help” when they could be “well”. Makes sense!)

I believe in psychiatrists that’s for darn sure! I am a 28 year old survivor of all things crazy- eating disorders, social anxiety, major depression, self-harm, binge drinking, suicide attempts. It’s been a chaotic 16 years but I thank my psychiatrist (and his prescription pad), my psychologist, family, (oh gosh, this is turning into an academy award speech) for their support that has made me well again. And I would not be who I am today (quite a quirky one you might say) without the support of my self-help books – who will make guest appearances in my blog from time to time. I like to give credit where credit is due!

I have lived in the Durham region for almost three years now working at a mental health hospital with a very special job title that most of my colleagues have no idea what it means or what I do. Basically I get to share my recovery story with the patients and encourage them to take steps toward their own mental health. It’s an amazing job, one that is rewarding and challenging.

Anyway, I digress – which you will find I quite frequently do  – oh, and I haven’t even said my name – it’s Tara! I am going to be blogging about mental health and self-help topics and I cordially invite you all to join my fan club. That I just made up. Please join, I have made no friends in this area. (Which may or may not be due to the circulation of this picture of my 9 year old self.)

Happiness

About the Author

Tara Richardson is a Peer Support Specialist at Ontario Shores Centre for Mental Health Sciences in Whitby, Ontario. Her own personal journey through mental illness has led her to be a passionate and dedicated advocate for mental health recovery. Tara is an aspiring author who is in the (long) process of writing and editing her memoir compiled from journal entries beginning at age 11. Tara has a B.A. in Psychology, a diploma in Social Service Work, and a certificate in Cognitive Behavior Therapy. Tara can be contacted at: tara_richardson913@hotmail.com Non-creepy fan mail gladly welcomed.