As most of you know, Tuesday was World Mental Health Day, so I decided that it was important for to write my post this week focused on mental health. It is a subject that needs to be discussed, within our society, without the cloud of stigma hanging over it. We should never have to fear opening up and talking about the importance of our mental well-being.
We turn out heads away from mental illnesses and devalue their existence, as though people suffering are exaggerating their illness or simply seeking attention, and as someone who suffers with depression and anxiety disorder this enrages me greatly. We live in a society where conveying any sign of emotion or discussing feelings makes us weak, as though depicting vulnerability is a weakness. That’s the stigma. We live in a world where everyone runs to your aid when you’re suffering physically, however, when someone is suffering with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, suicidal thoughts, and so on, people run the other way.
Speaking up is not easy, far from easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. There are far more people discussing mental health, however, it still continues to be overlooked within society. It is a topic EVERYONE should be talking about, and not just on World Mental Health Day – World Mental Health Day should be EVERY DAY! We should never be made to feel afraid to speak up, we should never be made to feel like attention seekers for trying to seek help, and we should never be made to feel weak. “Your mental illness does not define you. Your strength and courage does.”
They are disorders, not decisions, and “to not have your suffering recognised is an almost unbearable form of violence”.