Let’s talk about mental health awareness
Mental health awareness is such an important topic. Why? Because those of us who struggle with mental illnesses already have enough we’re trying to deal with. The last thing we want to have to do is defend ourselves to those who do not understand what it’s like to be us.
I want to start off by showing everyone an example of just how ignorant and uneducated some people are. This is just one of the many reasons why it’s so important to educate others. I get that it can be hard to understand things you’ve never been through or dealt with. I understand it can be hard to wrap your mind around what it feels like to struggle with an illness that, for the most part, is silent.
Here is a message that was sent to me recently. I’m sharing it because I want everyone to see what those of us who fight our mental illnesses every day have to hear from people who just don’t get it. Who choose not to educate themselves.
After reading this, how does it make you feel?
I know that for me, it makes me angry. It makes me feel frustrated. This message is saying to me that because I struggle with anxiety and depression, I’m supposed to be miserable until I decide I need to go get “fixed”. That I have no right to feel good about myself, or to make others feel good about themselves, because I struggle with anxiety and depression.
Mind = Blown.
Honestly, I don’t really know how much more I can say about why mental health awareness is so important. This message speaks volumes. People like this are the exact reason we need to raise awareness for those who suffer from mental health issues.
Do any of you reading this feel that this helps anyone, in any way? Is this supposed to make us feel better to hear things like this, especially when we’re working on bettering ourselves?When we’re struggling every day to fight our symptoms? When we’re already dealing with self doubt, low self esteem and battling our own minds?
This ignorance helps no one.
It doesn’t help the sufferer, and it most certainly doesn’t help people understand. It only spreads more ignorance and stigma. People like this are the very reason a lot of people are afraid to reach out for help. They are the reason those of us struggling with mental illness are afraid to speak up.
If you are having trouble understanding what living with a mental illness is like, please educate yourselves. Learn as much as you can, so that you don’t become one of those people who make us feel like we are something other than a human being. There are too many resources out there for this to still be happening.
Personally, I feel if you are unaware of what types of mental illnesses there are, the symptoms, and how difficult it can be to live with, then it’s a choice you’re making to remain ignorant. We did not ask to be born the way we were, we did not ask to go through traumatic events that would lead to more suffering, and we most certainly do not ask to be treated as if we don’t deserve to be happy. Or to be told we don’t have the right to share our struggles to try and educate and help others.
Please take the time to learn more before you place judgement, or make someone feel bad because of something they didn’t ask for.
Another important part of mental health awareness is understanding that each of us is different. We all handle things in our own way. What may work for one, may not work for another. One thing that I do believe is universal however, is having a support system. We need to know we’re not alone, we need to know there are others out there who do understand.
Most importantly, we need to know that those who are closest to us are there for us. Even if you can’t fully understand our struggles, just be there. Offer encouraging words and hold our hands when we need a little additional support. Just knowing that you care means so much more than you could ever imagine.
Help educate others
Another great way to help with mental health awareness is to talk about it with others. If you come across someone who doesn’t seem to understand, teach them. Provide them with the information they need. Sometimes you will find those who just do not want to be educated. If you do, just ignore them and move on. It will truly be their loss.
I know some amazing people who struggle with all different types of mental illness. They are some of the kindest, creative and strongest people I have had the privilege to meet.
We are all unique in our own way, every one of us. I believe that a lot of people who don’t suffer from mental health disorders have no idea what it’s like to have an illness, AND be judged for having it. We are discriminated against, treated differently and unfortunately, very misunderstood.
We already have a difficult inner battle we have to fight every day. The last thing we should have to deal with on top of this is the stigma of having a mental illness.
For me, these are the reasons why mental health awareness is so important. It needs to be talked about more, so that more people can understand and educate themselves on what it’s really like, versus what they think it’s like.
I’m just a girl with my own mental health struggles, learning more and getting better every day. Just a girl sharing my honest thoughts and feelings in hopes of helping to change the system.
All I can do is try.