Mental health distress affects us all whether we like to believe this or not.
We may end up supporting someone in distress or being in crisis ourselves, either is highly likely.
Connecting with others who have been on this rocky road can help by offering support and understanding that no one else can give because they have been there themselves.
We would not say we understand completely (no one could) but we would say we understand the distress, the affect on our lives, the confusion/misunderstanding and questions it all brings.
We will have experienced similar experiences, depression, hallucinations, mania, self harm, bulimia etc. The knowledge of how we cope can help others. The acceptance offered helps us all.
One of the main challenges is discrimination and misunderstanding. We try to raise awareness to combat the myths.
The loneliness that can be felt not necessarily because of the distress but because we can't find anyone to understand what we are going through can be more distressing than anything else put together. Supporting each other helps with this, builds confidence and self esteem leading to friendships.
Some say knowledge is power and they are right.
This can mean the difference between a long drawn out recovery and a shorter one.