Stop the stigma. What stigma, you ask? The stigma against mental health…
Let me back up for a second. Yesterday I was tagged on Instagram to do the #stopthestigma2016 challenge. This challenge was started just recently by @cycillia.marie on Instagram, which she started so that we can begin to eliminate all of the negative thoughts and feelings toward mental illness. How awesome is that? To start a challenge that will raise awareness for mental and emotional illnesses that deserve just as much treatment and respect as medical illnesses. Way to go!
Mental illness is way more prevalent than we may think. Statistics show that 1 in 5 people will suffer from a mental illness during some point in their lives. That is really a lot of people! So, why are we so afraid to talk about it? What makes it okay to discuss medical conditions, but NOT okay to discuss mental health? I know that the idea of discussing mental health is slowly starting to surface a little more than it used to, but it is still pretty stigmatized and looked down upon by many. I think it is so important to educate children, and society in general, on mental health just like we do for our physical health and wellbeing. There should be no shame in having a mental health condition. What is the difference between a mental illness and a physical illness, anyway? Just that one occurs in the brain! The brain is just as important, if not MORE important than any other organ in your body…I mean, correct me if I’m wrong but it seems to me that we should be taking really good care of our minds, just like we do our physical body…after all, it IS all connected anyway, right? I’m no expert in biology and I am certainly not a doctor, but I do know that there is a mind-body connection. So what goes on in our mind can take a toll on or affect our physical body and vice versa.
As someone who has suffered from mental health conditions since I was a little girl, I know it is important to talk about and address. When I was first experiencing symptoms of my anxiety, I had NO CLUE what was going on. I literally thought I was crazy and I felt so bad that I was putting my family through hell. Now when I look back at that time I know exactly what is going on. Now, when I experience symptoms from my OCD or when I have a panic attack, I know that everything will pass and I have tools that help me cope. Knowledge is power! So the more we can educate and inform, the better! People with mental illnesses are not crazy, they are not weird or stupid, they are sick…their minds are not functioning to the best of their ability. The thing is, mental illness can be treated – just like any other illness can! So, join me in stopping the stigma.
If you want to see my post on Instagram, you can click here. However, I definitely go into more detail in this post than I do on Instagram, for several reasons. On this blog I feel like I can write more freely and that I can be more of myself. Not that I am not myself on Instagram, because I am, but I am just not as open on that account with my own struggles like I am on this blog. I love this little blog of mine, and I hope you guys found this post helpful!
Tell Me: Why do you want to stop the stigma?