It's My Life and My Mental Illness

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Imagine if our society blamed people for being raped and claimed that it was their own life choices that had led them to such a horrific experience. Now, envision putting that shame, on someone who is fighting for their life, someone who is experiencing depression or anxiety. This happens every day, not just to rape victims, but also to the victims of mental illness. I think about this constantly as it's everywhere I look. People keep getting blamed for having a mental health issue, despite it not being in their control or based on their life choices. I fear for these people because I can see the darkness and self-hatred building up inside them because I have seen my past self go through it too.

I moved to Canada in the middle of 4th grade, I couldn't believe the absurdity of it all and as it stands, I still cannot. I didn’t know many people here in Ontario. As a result, I was terrified to go to school and meet new people. Since I joined the school year late in March, I realized that all my peers had already formed themselves into groups whilst I remained an outlier. I particularly remember walking up to this tall and dark building, one that smelled like bleach cleaner. The building was adorned with large, glittering windows that acted as frames to the outside world. As my teacher was introducing me, I felt the heated glares of my peers trying to make me feel smaller.

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Instantly, I could tell that they were judging me. Maybe it was because of the clothes I wore that seemed to be for my protection, or because of my accent, the very same one that reminded me of home, but in truth, I didn't truly know why. So, I was bullied for the rest of the year. Isolated and in despair, I started to ponder. I pondered why I seemed odd to them? Why did they make my life miserable just for being myself. Each time, I came up with no answer.

This constrained me into a state of anxiety and depression. I would feel as if I wasn't good enough for them. I had family friends and relatives telling me that it was my fault that I was getting bullied at school and claimed that I should stand up for myself more. Well, I guess it’s easy to say that when you are not in someone else’s shoes, social pressure is deceiving, we lose control of our lives and end up living as if we are meant to be someone else.

Famous artist Shawn Mendes opened up about his struggles with anxiety in a morning show, in which he said: “I knew people who have suffered from anxiety and found it kind of hard to understand, but when it hits you, you’re like, ‘Oh my god, what is this?’”. We may see people everyday living with a mental illness, but because we are not in their shoes, we don’t know what they are feeling and therefore doesn’t give us the right to judge them.

Each year, ½ of parents in Ontario report having concerns about their child's level of anxiety, from which ⅓ have has their child miss school and ¼ parents have missed work for their child (CHMO, 2015). As seen this issue is never ending and kids to this day, still experience mental illness issues because of bullying in schools.

As a result, this stigma on mental health does more harm than benefit. It harms society by always blaming victims for circumstances which are out of their control and degrades them. Most importantly, always remember that you are more than your anxiety. More than your depression. More than your OCD. You are you, and that's what makes you unique.

Work Cited

  1. Children's Mental Health Ontario (CHMO). ‘KEY FACTS & DATA POINTS’. Children’s Mental Health Centre”. 2015,
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It’s My Life and My Mental Illness. (2022, December 15). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 25, 2024, from
“It’s My Life and My Mental Illness.” Edubirdie, 15 Dec. 2022,
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