CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD)- National Mental Health Awareness Month is coming to a close. During this stressful time of isolation, having an open conversation about mental illness is more important than ever.
Hope Lumpkin is an advocate for mental health awareness. Her passion stems from her own struggles with anxiety and depression.
“You feel like no one else understands what you are dealing with. It’s bizzare, and it’s very overwhelming, and you feel like something is heavy on your chest or you just can’t get out of bed on the morning,” says Lumpkin.
Growing up, Lumpkin’s family inspired her to not feel ashamed of her challenges. She feels having a single mom and two older brothers helped her gain perspective.
“My middle brother Matthew was diagnosed with Austism,” she says. “My brother is probably one of the greatest people I’ve ever known. He is always positive, he is always picking everyone up off the ground. And so he gave me the courage because if he could get through all those things, so could I.”
As a young adult, she began to notice the stigma around mental illness in general. Lumpkin decided to use her social media platform as way to show transparency around the subject.
“It’s the term mental illness. You hear that and it’s been so polarized by film and books and it’s been made out to be “crazy.” So if you have a mental illness, automatically you’re “crazy.” Which couldn’t be more false,” she says.
Through trial-and-error she was able to find ways to cope with her anxiety and depression. She claims that her saving grace was developing a balanced lifestyle through fitness.
“For me it’s fitness, cooking, reading, music, my relationship, my family, my dog. It’s important during this time to recognize the good because you can get overwhelmed by the bad,” she says.
During this difficult time, she recommends checking in with yourself, and simply filling your life with who and what makes you the most happy. To check out her social media feed, click here.