Wil Wheaton, an actor whose credits include "Stand By Me," "Star Trek: The Next Generation" and "The Big Bang Theory," gave a powerful speech recently about living with mental illness.
"My life is, by every objective measurement, very, very good," he said at a National Alliance on Mental Illness conference in Ohio.
"And in spite of all of that, I struggle every day with my self-esteem, my self-worth, and my value not only as an actor and writer, but as a human being.
"That’s because I live with Depression and Anxiety, the tag team champions of the World Wrestling With Mental Illness Federation."
It's an important message about decades lost to an undiagnosed illness, about personal tips for feeling better, and mainly, about not being afraid of the stigma that many attach to mental illness.
As he said, "Finally, we who live with mental illness need to talk about it, because our friends and neighbors know us and trust us. It’s one thing for me to stand here and tell you that you’re not alone in this fight, but it’s something else entirely for you to prove it. We need to share our experiences, so someone who is suffering the way I was won’t feel weird or broken or ashamed or afraid to seek treatment. So that parents don’t feel like they have failed or somehow screwed up when they see symptoms in their kids."
You can read the entire speech on his blog.