I’m out of my mind but I’m not like the others” – The leader singer of the band Maneskin is singing. To him, it’s just the words, but for me it’s a reality. Almost two years ago I was living along with my family on the Colajanni 13 street in Bari, a city by the sea. My husband was renting the apartment: there was not much of the furniture, but it had a lot of space. I liked it, from our balcony I could see the sea: only half an hour of the walk. The 14th of June (my mother’s birthday) I decided to make a very dramatic gesture: I left my home, my husband and children… Everything. Leaving it behind, I took with me some money, clothes and books.
For one month I was living under the stars at Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, two beautiful towns in the mountains. My adventure ended with a long fasting. For two weeks I was living without any food, from which one week without even water. The reason is that at the age of 44 I fell with mental disorder. Apparently it takes courage to reveal the fact in public. Mental illness seems to be something that cannot be discussed. Generally people are very uncomfortable with it, and tend to hide the whole thing from the others. I’ve also tried to do it for a while, only to discover that it would only increase the sense of shame and embarrassment. Now I’m deciding to write about it, hoping that it could help to remove the stigma of mental illness.
“According to the World Health Organisation, 1 in 4 people will experience mental health problems at some point in their lives. That’s one-quarter of the world’s population.” - I read. We’re not ashamed when our bodies get sick, so why should we be ashamed when our minds aren’t in top form? We should be looking after our mental health in the same way we look after our physical health.” I agree with it. I reveal my mental illness in public because shame only makes things worse… The more we’re talking about something, the more all right it becomes.