Prepare yourself, I have things to say.
I am so surprised by the stigma that still exists in light of all the attention that has recently come to the issue of mental health. I have said before that I refuse to use the term “mental illness”, I cringe as I type it because I feel it is an inaccurate representation.
We do not generalize cardiac issues as “cardiac illness” or “pulmonary illness”. Someone who suffered a stroke is not “neurologically ill”. So, why is that the term “mental illness” is used to generalize chemical imbalances in the brain, or altered realities, or any of the numerous variations of any particular medical disorder? Why are all mental-health-related conditions lumped into that one term; a term that has come to be feared and misunderstood? A term that itself has developed a stigma.
Just imagine if that stigma was gone and we had open conversations about anxiety, depression, racing thoughts, lack of sleep, fear, loneliness, isolation. Maybe, just maybe, more treatment would be available– you know, that whole supply-and-demand thing. Maybe, just maybe, insurance companies would see the health benefits of regularly scheduled mental health visits, like routine mammograms, yearly physicals, dental checkups, etc.
While I am not foolish enough to think anything will change overnight or even anytime soon, I am optimistic enough to see that change is possible, to see that starting the conversation may make a difference. I don’t know about you but, for me, reaching someone, anyone, and helping them see another day would be more than enough reward for me.
So I will continue to post info, have meetings, tell our story, and do whatever I can to make whatever difference I can make.
Thank you for your time and support…..this truly is a gift to me to be able to do this and I pray that it is making a difference.
My hope is to get this “tell someone” slogan circulating among children and young adults as a conversation starter. So spread the word!!!