The Silent Stigma

I stood there in front of about two-hundred colleagues and guests.   I could feel the sweat under my arms dampening my shirt and I began to feel as though I were in a tunnel.   All I could see was a blurred line of light straight in front of me and my voice echoed in my head like I was speaking into a bucket.   I was there to speak on my personal experience with depression and anxiety.   In retrospect, I realize that this was a huge mistake, at least in light of the way society thinks.   Or perhaps I should moderate that statement.   It has demonstrated to have been a mistake with some people.  
When I was extremely depressed, I noticed some friends disappeared.   I understand that they couldn’t cope with my depression and removed themselves from it.   In a few instances the dismissal was rude and malicious and those who had seemed to be friends turned out not to be.   Other friends stayed and offered their help.   When the depression started to lift, I noticed the observable fact that all those who suffer from some type of mental illness suffer.   Now that people were aware of my illness they treated me in a different way.  
There were times I felt like I no longer belonged nor was I wanted.   I would be treated with a briskness and flippant air that I had never felt before.   I was being rudely
dismissed and ignored on special occasions.   My mere presence was clearly thought to be potentially threatening.   Maybe I wouldn’t be happy enough or would introduce out of place topics.   I had laid my weakness down for everyone to see and people were not about to forget it.   These people, like most, probably thought this was the right thing to do.   They were saving others from the drama that was me.   They also probably believed they were treating me as I deserved.   I had permanently lost any respect and consideration that I had once received.  
From others I received a different kind of treatment.   When I was doing well, these people thought it was time to let me know all the...