When I checked myself into a mental hospital for the first time, I had one of the most liberating experiences ever! I was able to talk about my illness with other patients and with caregivers in a way I hadn’t before. I did not feel self-conscious or embarrassed or stigmatized. While I am not given this sort of environment on a regular basis, I did learn something new. I’ve got to talk! I’ve got to talk about it and be open about it…for my sake not necessarily for others. Talking about it opens new doors. For me its an opportunity to share and not be self-conscious about my illness. Afterall it is an illness like other well-known illnesses like diabetes. It is not my fault, in fact it is nobody’s. For others, it may be an opportunity to share their own experiences with depression or about a loved one. If they do not have any experience with it, it is a teachable moment for me. One path to healing is breaking down the stigmas regarding depression and getting accustomed to living with this illness.