I am one of the 1 in 5 who struggles with mental health. I have, in fact, been plagued by mental health problems since my early teenage years, it got worse up into adulthood. I am now 32 years old. In the beginning, I was embarrassed about it, just to be honest. Hearing all the negative stigma and all… it took about 5 years to realize be hiding my mental illness is going right along with the stigma, it was like I was contributing to the negative stigma. I eventually got tired of the negative thoughts on mental illness. I started to be more open about it. Now, I don’t care who know. I don’t care what others say. I know I didn’t choose this. I know it’s not ‘all in my mind.’ I know I’m not ‘crazy,’ as most people say.
My aim is to make a significant contribution to eliminating mental health stigma, which sadly still prevails. There are still many many misunderstandings about mental illness. Nobody is protected or immune— rich, poor, young, old.
Even if you do not have a history of depression, without warning, it can strike upon either the slightest or most significant change in life circumstance. We cannot immune ourselves from its reach. The most frightening reality is that we are all quite possibly one-life changing moment from being wrapped in depression’s tentacles. Losing a child, getting a divorce, the death of a loved one, any of these, all of these, can send you spiraling into a pit of a mental illness, depression. At any moment. Even people on top hit rock bottom.
Mental illness does not discriminate… it can happen, it can affect anyone regardless of any age and any gender. It doesn’t matter. It affects you in all stages of life, from birth through adulthood. And it affects you in every aspect of your day to day living. It is an equal opportunity illness that can afflict us all at anytime.
Mental illness does not care if you are a Hollywood celebrity, like Wil Wheaton(who shared his amazingly candid story on medium about his battle). His story….
When our mental health becomes compromised, it can prevent you from coping, engaging in life, and realizing our full potential. It affects our family, productivity, and friendships, which in turn impacts our society and communities.
Just like there are many physical illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, or colitis there are too many mental illnesses. Some may experience the constant worry, fear and debilitating effects of anxiety or maybe panic attacks, while others may endure the extreme lows of depression. Many may suffer the life altering effects of an eating disorder, bipolar disorder, obsessive compulsive disorder, or a trauma disorder, and others can live with schizophrenia or psychosis, just to name a few.
Just like other physical illnesses, mental illnesses are mild, but the others can be much more severe. Be it anxiety or diabetes, professional treatment is usually needed although there isn’t the perfect cure but there is hope.Continue reading “Mental Illness Does Not Discriminate… It Affects All”