Does Mental Illness Make Us Who We Are?

Today, I’ll start out by stating my conclusion: My mental illness is not who I am, but it makes me who I am.

It is common for those with a mental illness diagnosis to assert that they are not their disease. They have an illness, but it doesn’t define who they are. I certainly agree that no one “is” their mental illness. But, because of the particular struggles we face and the ways we go about overcoming those struggles, doesn’t living with a mental illness ultimately make us who we are?

Mental illness affects our everyday experiences, and shapes the way we see things. Living with a mental illness requires a great deal of strength and determination. So, I put forth that we are not our mental illness, but it does make us who we are.

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