Living with a mental illness can be a struggle, especially when the people around you don’t entirely understand what a mental illness is. The topic of mental health is, unfortunately, taboo for many people.

That’s where we’ll start, opening up the door for healthy discussions on mental illnesses. Now, I’m not a psychologist, but I am someone who has been fighting this battle for 10+ years while being the eyes, ears, and shoulder for those that have their own battles. Every person is different, so not all responses will be the same. Not everyone is going to get it, so sometimes you’ll have to gauge the density of those you are talking to and decide whether continuing the conversation will be futile and a waste of your energy. Some people might not be worth the amount of energy it takes to have an informative conversation.

You might be reading this and think, “Why is it my job to explain mental illness to anyone?” You’re not wrong to think that. There will come a time in your life journey when you may need to tell someone you love that you are struggling with your mental health, and they might not understand and ask you questions.

It can be a very difficult topic to talk about, especially with family members. I feel like there is a good portion of parents who don’t fully understand mental health, and that could potentially be discouraging when faced with the task of talking to them. The first time I talked about my mental illness diagnosis, no one could understand what was wrong. I learned that I had depression, and I wasn’t equipped to explain it to anyone— I could hardly wrap my head around it myself.

It took me a few years to realize there was no shame in having a mental illness. That I shouldn’t be embarrassed for suffering and struggling with my thoughts.

Talking about your mental illness helps people understand you better, and it helps you understand yourself better too. Saying it out loud can sometimes help you realize what exactly it is that you are feeling. Talking about mental illnesses truly helps to deconstruct the stigma that surrounds them.

Mental illnesses are nothing to be ashamed of or blame yourself for. I understand how difficult it can be to believe that, but you don’t deserve to make yourself feel worse.

With that being said, I’m currently on a short break from my feature film and I am making a series called “This Is What It’s Like…”. It’s about individuals that battle mental illness, disorders, abuse, cancer, etc. It will be broken down into episodes (your own personal episode, per person). It’s a way to share your own personal story about a mental illness you battle and share what it’s like to go through it every day, what you want people to know, how they can help you, etc. It’s essentially a diary entry that you want to share. Maybe it’s been a secret for a while, and you feel it’s time to share it. Whatever the case may be, people want to hear your story and I’m sure those that are not ready to share are wanting to hear that they are not alone.

I am all ears and this series has no filter.

I am looking for anyone that would like to share their story. Adults, teenagers (parent permission, parent or guardian will need to be present), parents of younger children (such as speaking about their ADHD, ADD, Autism, depression, anxiety, being bullied, any mental illness, disorder, etc.), anyone and everyone, I’m ready to hear your story. No two stories are exactly the same, but there are people out there that can relate. Infinite episodes to be made and I want your story to be heard.

In a world where you think you are alone, there are so many of us that care.

If you are interested in sitting in front of a camera and sharing with the world, you can get more information by emailing team.thisiswhatitslike@outlook.com