The stigma surrounding mental illnesses

That subtle way your friends and family look at you when you’re having a breakdown. The way their eyes don’t quite comprehend what is going through your mind. The things they say to comfort you that show they have a lack of understanding about mental illnesses. When they tell you that you can control your disease, because obviously its that easy.

This is what its like to be stigmatized because of a mental illness you may be suffering from. A mental illness that you did not choose. A mental illness that takes over the mind and makes the person bearing it completely helpless to the effects.

You can’t ask for help. No, you definitely can’t, because society has taught you that mental illnesses are something to be ashamed of. They should never be talked about, because it’s wrong. Talking about your mental illness makes other people uncomfortable. It’s more polite just to keep it locked up inside of you.

In my personal opinion, this is absolute bullshit. Sadly though, this is what society has taught people to believe. The topic of mental illnesses is often is not broached because it makes people uncomfortable to talk about something that is so personal. How can we be comfortable talking openly about mental illness if we never talk about them in the first place? If you step outside your comfort zone, its likely that you will not be so uncomfortable the next time.

I’ve been stigmatized by friends and family and its sucks. I know that most of the time its unintentional but that doesn’t change the fact that the stigma is present. I think that a good part of the existence of the stigma is due to ignorance. If more people were educated on what mental illnesses are and how they affect the mind, then I don’t think that the stigma would be as relevant as it is in society.

I think people who aren’t suffering from a mental illness need to realize that those with mental illnesses can’t always control what is happening in their mind. You can have the best coping mechanisms in the world and sometimes that still isn’t enough. It happens to even the people who seem like they are doing much better. More than once, I think I have finally survived the storm and then all of a sudden I’ll have one of the worst days of my life and I have absolutely no control.

Let’s end the stigma surrounding mental illnesses. Because I may or may not be crazy, but I’m the only person that gets to decide that.

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