May is National Mental Health Month. So let’s all do our part in spreading awareness and fighting ignorance and stigmas.
You probably know way more people than you think who suffer from a mental illness. It could be depression, generalized anxiety disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or maybe borderline personality disorder. These things are very common.
Just like many other health problems, such as type 1 diabetes, breast cancer, or life threatening allergies, mental illnesses are not the fault of the one suffering from them, and they are things that must be fought every day.
The brain is an organ like the liver or heart, so it doesn’t make sense to dismiss a mental disorder as nonsense, or as something that is “just in your head,” although technically it literally is in your head, but you know what I mean!
Someone can look healthy and happy but you never know what they are going through internally. This is why it is important to check in on your friends and family members and be supportive allies. Don’t assume someone just wants attention, for this can be detrimental.
No matter how fortunate a person is, they can still have mental illness, because mental illness is not discriminatory.
Depression is not just feeling sad. Anyone can be sad, it’s a normal human emotion. But it’s important to know the difference. Being depressed doesn’t just make you feel down, it can make you numb, and tired. It can make you feel no pleasure at all, even if you’re doing something fun. It strips you of motivation.
When someone is depressed, it doesn’t help to say “cheer up!” But sometimes it’s nice to just be with those who care about you. If a friend is depressed it can be helpful to let them know you care and are there for them and just be with them.
If you yourself are dealing with something, you should never have to go through it alone. Hold your friends and family close. Maybe look into getting professional help even. There is nothing shameful about that. It’s no different than seeing a doctor for having a fever.
If you are battling something, you are not alone and you are not crazy.
If you want to know more or get involved check out
https://www.nami.org/mentalhealthmonth. They provide all kinds of resources and opportunities to help, and events coming up that help support the fight against mental illness.