My name is Riley Deveau, and I have dysthymia depression, panic disorder and obsessive compulsive disorder.
Notice I say "I have" and not "I am". That's because I have these illnesses, but they are not who I am. I grew up assuming that my illnesses defined me, because it's all I knew, but I'm so much more than that. I'm a YouTuber. I'm a foodie. I'm a judoka. I'm a good son, a good brother, and a good boyfriend. I love to lift weights. I love old school rock music and 90's pop punk.
I'm Riley Deveau. I'm a human being, not my mental illness
I want to start a movement. A movement that helps people understand that even though they suffer with a mental illness, that's not who they are. People need to be able to talk openly about their illness without being labeled as "the person with depression" or "the person with PTSD" or whatever you may suffer from. You are so much more than your illness. You are a person, and it's time people started knowing you, the individual, before labelling you with a sickness that isn't your fault
So, let's start a movement. Let's be bigger than our sickness. Post your story, and use the hashtag #YouAreNotYourMentalIllness and let's change the way the world views us, and the way we view ourselves.