I used to think I was the worst child a parent could have

“I always wanted to help. That’s why most people get into psychology right? Most people who experience a real struggle think ‘I want to help those who go through the same things as I did’. I didn’t have a bad upbringing by any means, but I certainly had some really dark times. I struggled a lot as a teenager. I was awful at school I kept failing my tests and teachers had a hard time with me. I used to think I was the worst child a parent could have. When I was 16 I went to see a counsellor to ask for help but they told me it was my fault and that I needed to change my attitude and behaviour. The real reason for my behaviour was that I was struggling in my personal relationships and in my family life. After reaching out to someone and being told that it was all my fault… I felt completely lost, and to this day I feel like nobody should ever have that feeling of not knowing where to go. That’s the reason I am where I am today. I’m sick of seeing stigma around mental health, and people spreading bad advice or incorrect information. I want to be the person who can point people in the right direction, who can help understand mental health properly, whether they’re struggling or not.”

Joe is using the @headfirst0 pages to educate people with research-based information to reduce stigma and help people take the right steps to make positive changes. He will be doing a 6-week series on the Humans of Dublin Instagram Stories, answering any and all questions (anonymously) about mental health.