Activism and Advocacy is Taxing
Between the loud spurts of phrases through the bullhorn and the constant bombardment of Facebook timelines, activism is taxing. Not taxing in the way that people are tired of not being heard, rather their emotional investment is so high that it takes a toll. There has been evidence that activist often suffer from depression or die by suicide. The reasons are multifactorial, however, this does not necessarily blur the correlation between activism and mental health.
Having to constantly shriek at unearthly frequencies to be heard is not healthy. Having to be victimized and re-victimized is tiring. Some of the biggest advocates are those with lived experience, whether it be the MAD movement or #BlackLivesMatter. There is a reason why they’re so passionate about the causes, it affects them and those they love dearly.
This is why allies are important. It is not fair, nor healthy, for the victims to be telling their stories again and again to be heard. We as a society need to recognize that those loud voices may be the ones that are dealing with the greatest silence. To appear invincible requires one to dismiss their vulnerabilities and health.
So remember to take care of yourself – to take a step back sometimes and dress those wounds.