I can count on two hands people that I love who have been diagnosed with mental health issues. I can’t count how creative, how loving, how instrumental, how necessary these people are because the list is too long.
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer, people rallied around me. They saw my cancer diagnosis as separate from my person. It was something that I was battling; not my identity. When a person receives a mental health diagnosis, the response is different more than not. It may be whispered about, but not discussed. The weight of that diagnosis may be placed squarely on that person’s shoulders, when it was no more their doing than the cells growing in my body that became cancer.
Too many amazing humans don’t seek the help they need because of this. That’s why I loved the conversation with Carla Argas on More Than Small Talk. Carla is vibrant. She’s funny. She’s a go-getter, a mom, an entrepreneur, a woman of faith and substance. She’s honest. And one of her comments was like cool water over a barren desert, as she said:
My diagnoses are not my identity; they are simply information.
She was diagnosed with both bipolar and personality disorder. These are big diagnoses and were hard to hear, but suddenly they gave her information about her struggles since childhood. They opened the door to understanding herself better, and those she love were also given the same opportunity. It gave her permission to seek help, both medically and holistically, to help her live her best life — just like the surgery and medication that helped me when I was diagnosed with cancer for the second time.
Carla is a living, breathing example of why the stigma of mental health needs to be removed, especially in the faith community. Don’t make this a faith issue, or a be-stronger issue, but a lets-be-stronger-togetHER issue as we ask questions, love deeply, and see that person separate from a diagnosis.
And if you’ve struggled for a long time, worried about what other people think, come on, sister, run to get the help you need because that diagnosis is not your identity; it’s simply information that will help you find your way to feeling better. You are vibrant. You are gifted. You are amazing, courageous, and we need you to walk shoulder-to-shoulder with us. And if someone says something insensitive about your diagnosis, that’s their battle. They simply don’t know, and if you feel like educating them, that’s awesome, but don’t let their words or work-in-progress understanding hold you back.
I hope you’ll tune in to this powerful, faith-changing conversation between Holley, myself, Jennifer, and our guest, Carla Argas. I pray you’ll share it, talk about it, and maybe even follow our podcast. As we go into this 3rd year of broadcasting, we are going deeper to talk about things that matter.
Thanks for encouraging others. Thank you for showing up in this community. I’m grateful for you,
I have some resources for you
Check out More Than Small Talk podcast — Click here to find all the ways you can listen.
- Hey, did you know I have a smaller, more intimate Facebook community? It’s the TogetHER Community and Bible study and we go deep together. Join the TogetHER FB community and Bible study