When we are anxious, the last thing we want is for others to point that out to us. Sophie Riegel, 18 years old has written a book: Dont tell me to relax. The stigma to be perceived as imperfect keeps us away from talking about our mental health issues. Listen to this young women’s journey on how she turned her weakness into a strength.
Sophie Riegal speaks all over the country. She lives in New York with her parents, twin brother, and rescue dog, and she plans on writing a second book in the near future. She is going to Duke University in Fall. Sophie is a passionate mental health advocate and strives to make a difference in the lives of those around her.
Sophie has 4 different anxiety disorders. She has suffered a lot in the past and because of that she is now a strong mental health advocate.
In her younger days she was bullied a lot, so she decided to educate others about her anxiety disorders, first by giving a talk in her class, then talking to more people and finally wrote a book.
Educating others stopped the bullying at school and people became much more understanding.
She says, We all can have different mental health issues in different stages of our life, her advice:
Take the first step to talk to someone. There is a lot of stigma of being perceived as imperfect or having problems or of being unstable. That fear leads people to curl up in their ball and be isolated from everyone else, which is a huge problem. And thats why its important to talk about mental health. So people know its okay to struggle. No one’s perfect.
The more you share with others, more others will open up to you. In the podcast, she talks about how she has inspired many people reach out to her.
Mental illness is not something to to be ashamed of.
Everyone has something going on and its time we start turning our weakness into strength.
She turned her weakness into a strength. i.e. she turned her mental illness into a book. That’s healing others and that process has healed her too.
To know more about Sophie: http://donttellmetorelaxbook.com