Today is National Mental Health Day and I am here to say
I am suffering from anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more.
Mental Health is part of your overall HEALTH and it’s not shameful. It’s not taboo. There is no reason to be ashamed or embarrassed. No more so than if you broke your arm, or have a bad back, or you have allergies.
Mental illness is not something we choose. We’re not faking. We’re not just trying to get attention. We’re not just trying to get disability. We’re HURT. We’re ACHING. We’re in PAIN. And we’re SUFFERING. And we deal with it every single day of our lives. And we deserve health care. We deserve therapy. We deserve a bandage, a salve, and a sympathetic ear. We are beautiful, beloved, and brilliant.
We are your mothers, sisters, daughters. Your fathers, brothers, sons. We are your friends, your coworkers, your yoga teacher.
“ Your heart burns, and your heart aches. Why is either less worthy of care?“
You can not always see Mental illness.
We don’t all have scars on our wrists, cuts on our arms, or black clothes and downcast expressions.
We aren’t always crying, and we aren’t “just sad”.
We ARE trying to feel better, and you telling us to “Just try NOT being depressed” isn’t helping. At all.
We’re the kid you think is always smiling. We’re the niece who never goes out with friends. We’re the daughter who says she needs a therapist and you think there’s nothing wrong with her, so why would she need help? We’re the wife who’s started feeling aloof. We’re the sister who used to LOVE playing video games with you, but lately, she just can’t seem to enjoy it anymore. We’re the working poor, the middle class, and the wealthy.
Mental Illness does not discriminate. It does not care who you are or where you’re from or what your circumstances are.
“Don’t tell them it’s okay. Tell them you’ll help them.”
Mental illness is Illness.
There is no difference. It is just a type of illness, just as disease is different from virus, is different from infection, is different from disorder, is different from Syndrome. These are all just words that describe illness. Mental illness is one of them. You have special doctors for gastro-intestinal issues, for ear, nose, and throat issues, for bone issues, for spinal issues, for muscular issues, for every part of the body. And all of those are considered “real” problems.
Why are your emotions and thoughts any different? Do you REALLY feel those are less important than your legs, your hands, your heartburn? Your heart burns, and your heart aches. Why is either less worthy of care?
“We are your mothers, sisters, daughters. Your fathers, brothers, sons.”
The World Health Organization states that 1 in 4 people has a mental illness.
You know 4 people? One of them has mental illness. Do you have a family of 4? One of them may have a mental illness.
I’m here to ask you to be a positive force in the lives of those with mental illness. I’m asking you to care, to listen, to support. Offer hugs, offer kindness, and offer a ride to their therapist if they need it. Do not tell them they are faking. Do not tell them they should just “stop” being depressed, anxious, etc.
Tell them you love them. Tell them you support them. Tell them they are wonderful and they are worthy of all the same care and treatment as anyone else.
If you do not have their disorder, do not tell them you understand what they’re going through. Tell them you hear them. You see them. You care.
Don’t tell them it’s okay. Tell them you’ll help them.
Be the one who lifts them up. Not the one who beats them down.
Be excellent to each other.
No matter what illness you have or don’t have.
Just be excellent to each other.
With this post, I am supporting the Trevor Project, an organization devoted to helping prevent suicide among LGBT youth. LBGT kids are at higher risk for suicide due to the mistreatment, bullying, and neglect they receive from families, friends, and everyone around them.
Please consider a donation of any amount today on National Mental Illness Day to help support a young person who feels there is no one who loves them, and no reason to keep going on. The Trevor Project helps them know there are people who love them, and a million reasons to go on. Your donation helps secure treatment and support for these wonderful young people who deserve to know they are loved, they are beautiful, and we want them here, just the way they are.
Thank you for donating today, no matter how big or small. If you can’t afford to donate much, just give $1 and show your support. Every single dollar counts. Donate now! Thank you!
Donating via Facebook adds momentum to our donation drive and helps us reach more donators. If you don’t have Facebook you can use the official website button, however if you do, we encourage you to donate through Facebook. 100% of proceeds go to help the organization directly.