I should know better than to look at anything on my social media feeds regarding mental illness.
Because a lot of people are ignorant and insensitive.
I can’t even count how many comments I’ve read calling mental illness an “excuse” that people use to get out of things. I can’t even express how hot that makes my blood boil. If you are calling conditions like depression, bipolar disorder, postpartum psychosis/depression, anxiety, etc. an excuse then you need a serious reality check.
Or a very long walk in someone else’s shoes.
If you have never experienced a mental illness 0r even just watched a loved one deal with it, you, my friend, are the luckiest person I’ve ever heard of. Let me explain something, though – those dealing with these conditions are no less than you, they are not crazy, they are not weak, and they are not to blame. They can’t be held accountable for all of their actions because they are not always in control. Their minds may not be their own.
I once ran down the street from my friends because I was scared and out of control. I had three very good men nearly tackle me because they knew and understood that this was not me and they would do anything to keep me safe. They talked me down, they got me help, they made sure I was taking my medication. That is how you deal with mental illness – not by shaming, judging, or condemning.
Mental illness can drive a person to do terrible things and that is because the chemicals in their brain are misfiring. There is so much more happening in their mind than anyone could possibly understand. They are suffering. It’s not even “all in their head” – it’s a physical affliction.
I just want the world to understand that. I so desperately want the stigma to just disappear.
To those dealing with mental illness, you are so brave. You are so strong.
You have done nothing wrong.
It’s not your fault that you’re sick. You can’t control or cure it. You can treat it – and loved ones, you can help us get treated – but you cannot think the chemicals in your brain back into order. You are not weak because your own mind has betrayed you. I so desperately want you to know that you are not alone. People will be cruel and insensitive, but some of us understand. There is help and protection and hope.
I love you. Keep your head above water.