Would you swipe right on Tinder to someone you knew had depression?Or accept their request on Facebook? Would you be worried about starting a friendship or moving in a house with them?
Stigma, loneliness, fear and misinformation clouds mental illness, which is why It is so IMPORTANT to talk about it.
You may be wondering how mental health is relevant to you, If you don’t have a mental health disorder. Sure, you’re sad sometimes, and yes you do get anxious before you take an exam, but you don’t have panic disorder or Depression. So why do you need to care about mental health in any way, shape or form.
This is why: There are people all around us that are coping with some sort of mental illness. Maybe with depression, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), post partum depression, anxiety, bipolar disorders, or clinical depression or any other form of mental illness.
Yet, we (as a society) choose to silence them.¬†Unless you or a member of your family has a mental health condition you may not understand the stigma surrounding them.
Having any form of it feels like you have just run a marathon, except you haven‚Äôt left your bed in two days and don‚Äôt have the strength within you to get up at all. It feels like a lump in your throat that never goes away because you‚Äôre so tired. Tired of feeling like this and tired of not getting better. It‚Äôs feeling like your best will never be good enough & your future has no hope. It’s feeling like a failure . All the time. ¬†Not just a worry that you can check off of your to-do list. It‚Äôs not a choice & can’t be just switched off. However the effects of it can be lessened when people suffering from it talk it out with somebody.
But when they finally find the courage to tell someone about it, people suspect they brought it on themselves with drugs, or breakups, maybe that it‚Äôs part of their personality or somehow a choice, and treat it as an something which cannot be discussed about.
It’s important to realize that people suffering from Mental illness are NOT insane, but just normal people who’ve invisible illnesses that others can’t see the limitations or consequences of.
You will find that someone you know has mental illness, and their story needs to be heard.
If, on finding out that a friend or a classmate is depressed you don‚Äôt say the stereotypical ‚Äòbut she seems so cheerful‚Äô or assume she‚Äôs lazy or making it up to get sympathy .You wouldn’t tell a diabetic to stop complaining about taking their insulin. The same goes for the person coping with a manic episode.
It’s time for us (as a community) to stop putting our hands over our ears and start listening. It’s time to stop treating mental health disorders as if they are something to be ashamed of and time to start thinking about them as legitimate health concerns. There are people who are self-medicating mental health disorders every day by abusing drugs and alcohol. One of the reasons for this is that they are shunned by society.
So today, Lets break the silence and start a conversation about mental health.We need to keep talking out, and openly, until mental illness carries no more stigma.
Having a mental health condition can be a lonely place, but speaking out shatters the lie that everyone else is ‚Äònormal‚Äô. We could save many lives. The first thing we need to do is listen.
To someone, it could mean more than you know.