I want to talk about an important topic that came about recently.
Last night, someone (anonymous) commented on my post about my suicidal experience. Let’s just say that the comment was ignorant and offensive. If I wasn’t the strong young woman that I am I would have been highly distraught my the comment. Luckily, those things don’t bother me. However, this brought me to question the issue of how we view (society) mental illness. This does bother me.
Unfortunately, many people think that mental illness is “funny” or not “serious.” As a society, we look at these people and blow them off as “stupid” or “crazy.” We think people that are suffering from depression are “stupid” since their lives are “not bad.” We think people suffering from eating disorders are “stupid” because people all over the world are starving. We think people suffering from bipolar disorder are “highly emotional” and “irrational.” The list goes on and on when talking about the stigma that society has against mental illness.
It is exactly this type of stigma and criticism why less people talk about their mental disorders. We are afraid of being made fun of or being rejected from the world and getting labeled as some “crazy freak.” This type of negative association with mental illness hurts not only a blinded society but the individual suffering as well.
People suffering with a mental illness are afraid to speak out and get help for their problems because of what society may say. We’re afraid of how our family members and friends will react when we tell them. We’re afraid of what our teachers and co-workers will say to us. Will they look at us differently? Will they avoid us? Will they laugh? Will they pity us? Because of this fear we do not speak up and keep our disorder our little secret. We only write down our feelings in a journal or in a blog. But in reality, we are only hurting ourselves. By not speaking out, we are letting the problem get “worse” when we could be getting counselling and medication that would help us dearly.
We need to teach a blinded society that people suffering from a mental illness is not “stupid,” “a moron,” “crazy,” or anything else that may come with mental illness stereotypes. We need to teach society about different types of mental illness and how the affect individuals. We need to them the signs of a certain mental illness and how to help someone who is suffering. The las thing we need is to judge that person. Instead, we need to help them help themselves.
That’s exactly why I shared my experience and wrote that post. I know that someone out there is struggling with the same thing and that this might help them. I understand you. I understand what you’re going through. Please remember that you are never alone!
I really hope everyone can learn from this and my own struggles and realize that this stigma is wrong. We are all human and we all need to help each other.
Let’s stop the stigma against mental illness!