Mental Illness: Let’s Talk About It

You are not broken and you are not alone

Art+Institute+of+Chicago

Art Institute of Chicago

In a world where we are told to suppress our anxieties and depressive thoughts because it is not comfortable for others, it is so necessary to speak up and “normalize” the idea of mental illness. Even the word “normalize” or “stigmatize” carries a heavy negative connotation. “Normality” is an impossible standard to achieve. In order to be normal that means there are those out there that we deem as being “abnormal.” How do we judge who fits where? What is the standard for these labels? As for stigma, it is a dehumanizing term that is very often associated with mental illness. It forces people into a box and makes them feel wrong or as though they are a problem that needs to be dealt with. A story from the Suicide Prevention Lifeline called stigma “the fear and shame that many people feel when they are diagnosed, and the crushing pressure they feel to keep their diagnosis a secret or consequentially face social rejection (Samantha – Suicide Prevention Lifeline).” There are many people now, especially teenagers, suffering from mental illness in one form or another. Whether it is due to family, school, trauma, or something else, mental illness is in abundance nowadays. There is no cure regardless of what some may say about “making it go away.” It does not go away with time, or medicine or therapy. It is not like a cold. It is not temporary. 

While it is not temporary, it does fluctuate. Some days are just better than others. Some people, even those who have mental illness, do not know that while having a mental illness is a lifelong struggle it is not all bad. This is because they only know what they have heard or been told. There are so many ways to cope with mental illness. If you are having a bad mental health day, do things that make you happy or relax you. You could paint a picture, listen to music, or write. There are so many more. I love clothes so I enjoy thrifting or sewing when I feel depressed or anxious. Whatever it is that makes you feel at ease is something to do if you don’t feel well. And while these things are good, the most important thing you can do is spread awareness. If you or someone you know struggles with mental illness, the best thing you can do is reach out. Whether you are giving or receiving it, people need help. They feel isolated and unsaveable. If you are in a position to, and you feel comfortable with it, help by giving awareness talks. If you are in a place where you are in need of help, just know there are so many going through what you are going through. You are not alone. There are many people you can reach out to. Whether it be a friend, family member, counselor, teacher, or coworker, there is someone you can talk to. If you feel uncomfortable talking about this with people you know. There are many resources online with people you can talk to (I will leave links at the bottom). If you are reading this and you are suffering in silence, please reach out. Please know that you aren’t alone, and there are people who understand. Those who don’t understand or treat you as though you are diseased are ignorant. Each and every person is special and loved. Everyone. 

 

Suicide Prevention Lifeline

1-800-273-8255

 

National Institute of Mental Health Suicide Prevention Hotline

 

Get Help Now