Worth Your Time

by Bill Brenner on March 20, 2013

I’ve written about my battles with mental illness at length here, but to fully understand how this beast works you have to see other points of view. Concord Monitor reporter Annmarie Timmins offers some powerful testimony in a piece she wrote as part of a larger series on mental illness.  Read it. All of it.

Below: Monitor reporter Annmarie Timmins is reflected in the mirror at her gym in Concord. 

(ANDREA MORALES / Monitor staff)

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Trish March 20, 2013 at 6:30 pm

thanks for posting this Bill. I think I mentioned this already, but 4 of my seven siblings have some degree of mental illness, ranging from a personality disorder to depression (that sister is deceased, suicide), and schizoaffective disorder. So I think about mental illness probably more than other people. I have been twice the responsible party committing my oldest brother to psychiatric care when he became suicidal. I was so thankful that the town he lived in had a tremendous facility. It is now closed due to budget cuts. (I know the weather will get better, but funding for things like mental health never does.)

I am so happy to have found your blog. At times I am a little freaked out by the prevalence of mental illness in my family. And I of course wonder about myself. That is not something I discuss with anyone, except my husband. I feel that so far in my life I have been able to stave off depression by counseling myself (c’mon, you’re not a syrian refugee who has to sleep under a tarp in the cold), and through exercise, which I find to be HUGELY helpful. Unfortunately in early January I developed an injury which has kept me from exercising regularly. These past few weeks have been a strong reminder of just how much exercise does help me.

I do feel isolated regarding the topic of mental illness and it’s prevalence in my family. Due to the stigma I don’t feel it is something I can discuss with most of my friends. Many an unenlightened person have ventured an ignorant remark which has reaffirmed for me that my strategy of not discussing it is best. I hope I can feel free to discuss it here on your blog without being offended by comments from uninformed people. At least I won’t know them!

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