When Chester died, I wrote a lot about the stigmatism surrounding mental illness. How it is very scary to openly talk about having a mental illness. That talking about it is like having the plague.
Seriously, I am still scared to openly talk about my illness because so many people have made it a joke. I have seen a lot of people who experience nervousness over something claim that they have an anxiety disorder However, after whatever makes them nervous, they no longer have a mental illness.
It is like having an anxiety disorder is something to joke about. It makes those of us who really have it afraid to come out with what is really going on.
There is also this type of stigmatism that if you have a mental illness you should be ashamed.. that you’re seeking attention or playing the victim.
We live in a world where it is so hard to have a mental disorder. I have anxiety disorder, panic attacks and mild depression. I have nothing to be ashamed of. I am living with this and I am living with it my way. Why should I feel ashamed about it??? Seriously? Why should any of us feel ashamed about what is going on iside of our head. When you have a heart issue, your heart is sick. No one makes you feel ashamed of that. The brain is an organ. It can be sick like any other organ in your body.
Don’t be ashamed of it. Own it. You have a mental illness. And that is okay. If you’re on medication… THAT IS OKAY. Seriously. taking medication for your mental illness is brave. Because you had the courage to seek help. To get help. There are so many who have not been able to drum up the courage to ask for help.
When Chester died, many of those who knew him, came to the forefront to speak out for mental illness. To break the stigmatim. I think that the more that we talk about it, the more it will be accepted as normal. That it is nothing to be ashamed about. Because it’s not.
Open up. Tell me your story. Tell me what makes you overthink. Tell me what your anxious about. Because I am here. I will always be here. As a listening friend. As someone who shares your story. Who understands what it is like to have a mental illness. Who knows what it is like to be made ashamed of my illness. To know what it is like. So tell me your story.
One thing they never tell you as a kid is that life is tough….well unless you have a tough childhood.
You see….my childhood wasn’t completely bad…honestly. I did experience abuse…starting from my dad when I was a baby and leading til my older brother stopped living with us…. Well I mean if you look at it now…certain people still try to use mental and emotional abuse against me… what they don’t realize is….I came out on the other side. I am stronger now… I don’t get suckered to easily… but I’m not completely healed. Sometimes I do get suckered.
Growing up with just my mom…. things were tight financially…pretty much all the time. There were many years where we didn’t celebrate Christmas, instead we got our gifts at Tax time. But even though we did have a tough time when I was little… I still think my mom is one of the strongest person I know.
Not everyone started their life in a tough manner. But as most kids become adults, they learn life is tough. Having a mental illness only makes life even harder. But although life is tough, you are tougher.
There is nothing easy about waking up every single day to fight the same demons that kept you up all night. Never let anyone tell you that your mental illness makes you weak. You are tough. You are strong. You are a fighter. I am a fighter. WE are fighters. Life might be tough, but so are we.
Lets break the stigma.
One of the worst things that you can say to someone who has a mental illness is that they can just get over it…. that is right up there with.. stop thinking that way… and pray it away.
Most of the time… a mental illness is the result of a chemical imbalance in the brain, an organ inside the human body. When the heart is ‘sick’ no one says anything about getting over it… or maybe they have cancer… can they just get over it? Then why would you assume that someone whose ‘brain’ is sick can just get over it.
Having an anxiety disorder and constantly living in a type of fear is not an easy task. You have to get up every day to fight the same demons you battled yesterday. You fight this invisible problem that only you can see and you feel unimaginable pain that others don’t know… and then you have to listen to those who say ‘just get over it’
I am not going to just get over my anxiety disorder. That is not how things work. This is the type of stigma we have hovering over mental illness….it is time to break the stigma. Speak out. Speak loud.
What are some of the things that you have heard in regards to a mental illness.