After last weeks’ post about my thoughts on 13 Reasons Why (click HERE to read) and the great response I got from you guys on social media, I wanted to take the time and dig a little deeper. Mental health is something very close to my heart, not just because I’ve been dealing with this most of my life but also I’ve seen a few family members and friends struggling with this. I think it’s very sad that mental health problems are still such a tabu topic in our society, even though so many people suffer from it.
In fact one in four people will experience some sort of mental illness in their life time. Mental illness is no longer something that the industry makes up to sell products, expensive treatments or make movies more interesting. It is a thing, it exists – yet it still isn’t treated that way. If you personally don’t suffer from a mental illness, just look around you, just like me you will most likely have someone in your social circle who has, yet they probably haven’t told anyone. Wondering why? Because of the social stigma attached to the things surrounding this topic. A stigma that we created:
When you break your leg everyone wants to help but when you say you suffer from anxiety or depression everyone runs the other way. Now I understand that breaking a leg is a lot easier for everyone to process because we know exactly what happens but because mental illnesses have something to do with the brain, which not only makes it a lot more difficult to understand but also transfers into the thought that this has something to do with you as a person, we either treat it differently or don’t talk about it at all. And this is where the problems begin.
Somehow society thinks having a mental disorder will have a noticeable impact on someone’s personality (which it can, in some cases) whereas in reality on most people, who are dealing with a mental illness, it is hardly – if not – not noticeable at all. Don’t get me wrong, I know that there are a lot of different illnesses, some of them decently documented, all presented with various symptoms and stages but to be quite honest with you most people will deal with their problems behind closed doors. Not because they want to, because we force them to. Due to the fact that society has such a big problem with addressing these kind of issues the people who suffer from mental illnesses feel very alone and don’t want to disclose these matters to anyone, which is crazy. I mean just think about it – to some people, disclosing their illness is a lot harder than dealing with them. How can this be possible? How can we allow this kind of behaviour?
What I’m trying to say is that we shouldn’t make people with mental health problems feel like there are less of a person – they have a lot to deal with anyway. There are tons of different mental illnesses out there but many of them can’t be treated with medicine yet. So until we find a way to properly help we should give people suffering from mental illnesses a hand, help them and make them feel like they can talk about it, that this is a common issue among many people. As someone who has suffered from issues related to mental health I’m asking you to not sweep this under a rug. Help to make this a well-known and often talked about topic because the more we talk about it the easier it gets and besides it probably will help many people. Have a great week, xo Marie.