Let’s Talk About It
May 24th, 2019
As an introvert, Isaac spends much time inside his mind to process his thoughts. Read on to learn his views on the importance of understanding what you’re feeling.
NAME — Isaac
AGE — 23
OCCUPATION — Barista
HOMETOWN — Seattle, WA
FUN FACT — The blue whale is the largest organism to ever have lived
How would you define yourself?
“An empathetic cynic. I constantly try to think about other people with the knowledge that they might be the worst. Take traffic as an example: you actively try to take advantage of others because you think you deserve to get somewhere faster. But I’ll let anyone over who needs to be let over. That defines much of what I do.”
What is your experience with mental illness?
“I only started thinking about mental health and what it means these past few years. I find myself generally depressed usually, but it’s not something I’m actively trying to fix — other than moment by moment situations. For the most part, I know why I feel the way I do: it goes back to being around so many people who just take advantage of others. I hate that that’s how the world is. Sometimes there are moments I’m happy to be around the people I’m with. But I’m fairly selective about who I spend my time with, so I don’t have that problem too often.”
Have you ever gone to counseling? If so, what was your experience like and what would you tell others about counseling?
“I personally haven’t, but I believe that it’s great and a good resource for people. As an introvert, I tend to constantly think about what and why I believe, so talking to others hasn’t been super helpful for me. I usually am able to think about and work through things on my own. I also don’t think of my depression as a problem but more of a reaction to circumstances. I know that it’s been incredibly helpful to others and think it could be a reasonable approach if I ever did need it.”
Why are you passionate about mental health awareness?
“It’s important to understand your emotions and experiences in context. It’s not easy to wake up and be depressed, especially if you don’t know why you’re feeling that way or without a sense of how to feel better. That’s much worse. It’s important for everyone to have a grasp on what’s going on with themselves.”
What do you want to change about mental health and awareness of it?
“Openness is important. I don’t know why people have a tough time talking about it, but they do — even to people they’re really close to. I think no one really wants to admit what they’re going through. If you have people around you, I’m pretty sure everyone there would be interested in talking about it to some extent.
Also, there’s a stigma around counseling that shouldn’t be there. Many guys wouldn’t even think about going, despite the help it could be for them. I see that with quite a few people I know. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve sat down this past year talked about these issues.”
Even though you struggle with mental illness, that doesn't define you. What would you want others to know about yourself?
“I always have the best intentions in mind for people. I have an easy time assuming good intentions of others until they prove me wrong.”
My name is Isaac, and I am not defined by my struggle with mental health.
You're Not Alone
1 in 5 adults has a mental health condition, but only 44% have received treatment.