Mental Health Stigma

The last few weeks have brought news of two high profile suicides.  These were people who, from the outside seemed to have perfect lives but obviously suffered from inner demons that they could no longer battle.

Full disclosure, I have suffered from depression many times in my life.  I have gone from being just a little down to not being able to get out bed for days at a time.  I have burst out in tears or lashed out at people with no warning or even true understanding.  I have seen a few therapists but was never able to truly connect with someone to be able to get the help that I needed at that time.  While I feel I am now at a better place in life, I know I will never be truly “cured” of my illness.

And that is what depression is…an illness.  It cannot be turned off on a whim or fully controlled with a pill.  So why do we feel that depression is something to be hidden or swept under a rug?  There is nothing shameful about any mental illness.  It should be treated no different than any other illness.  There should be research and ready access to therapies and treatments.  We should not be cutting mental health funding, we should be increasing it.  We should bring the subject out of the dark ages and let sufferers know that there is nothing to be ashamed of and they they aren’t “freaks”.

If you or someone you know is suffering from any mental illness and are having any thoughts of harming yourself, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at       1-800-273-8255 or look for other services in your local area.

You are not alone and you have nothing to be ashamed of.  Whatever your issues may be, you are loved and you are special.  You are NOT worthless and you deserve to be happy.

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