I never thought it would be me. I'd always been resilient. The one that others came to in their time of need.

But by the Fall of 2017, I knew things were not right with me. My "germaphobia" had gone from a minor personality quirk to fully controlling every moment of my life. I felt like I was drowning. I didn't know how to escape my own mind. By April 2018, I was diagnosed with moderate Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD).

I am currently on my road to recovery. Some days are harder than others. But I am fortunate enough to have people in my life that truly care about me. I have been supported 100% of the way as I sought clinical help with my condition. Today, I can finally say that I am better than I was one year ago. It's been a long road, and I have even further to go.

But this post isn't just about me. I never fully appreciated how critical mental health can be until living my own experience. The stigma surrounding mental health issues has created an environment where one feels they are weak if they need help fixing the chemical imbalances inside of their own mind - something far beyond our own control.

Working in law enforcement and being a diagnosed mental health patient gives me a rather unique perspective on the topic. I am incredibly lucky to be able to work on the front lines of our nation's mental health crisis. Though there is so many silently suffering with their own internal crises, I hope I can help give some of those who are suffering the courage to seek help.

Cops suffer from mental health issues at a far greater number than anyone can imagine. There have been 69 (unofficial) reported police officer suicides in 2019 alone. To my brothers and sisters in blue - don't suffer in silence. You can get better, and you can do with the help of your law enforcement family.

My experiences with mental health have given me insight into the awful way in which one cannot escape their own mind. For those reading this that are suffering-please reach out for help. 

— This unedited, unsolicited letter was written by a NEOMED police officer who prefers to remain anonymous.

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