This shouldn’t happen. Beautiful, magical people should not take their own lives. I wish, for once, people would stop and forget about Donald Trump, Kim Kardashian, and the other ridiculous people would plague our society and realize the real problems that face our world. Depression kills good people and bad people. Depression doesn’t favor one person over another, it takes whatever it can get. It destroys innocent, gentle people and reduces them to shells of their former selves.

Why don’t we talk about this? We talk about Trump’s tiny hands, Kim’s giant ass, and other shit that really does affect anyone (minus the fact that Trump would destroy America and, possibly, the world). We should let people are suffering reach out and scream “HELP ME!” instead of hiding in the dark, alone and afraid. We let people show their naked bodies covered in paint, we let people spew racist bullshit, but we can’t let people acknowledge their mental illness. What kind of world is that?

People who suffer from mental illness tend to suffer in silence because of the fear of being judged. When I’m too depressed to get out of my bed I tell my boss I’m sick because I’m afraid of being treated differently. It’s a sad reality that a lot of people will treat you differently if you tell people you have a mental illness due to the ridiculous lack of education that surrounds it. Mental illness is enveloped in ignorance, stigma, and judgement and it’s killing people.

In a time where people can post anything on social media and share their thoughts will millions of strangers, why does mental illness still hide in the shadows? Why is that I feel more comfortable posting “I was so drunk I pissed my pants” (a sad, embarrassing reality) than “I have bipolar disorder”?

When I started to “come clean” and start writing about my fight with mental illness, most people I knew were shocked. “But you’re so happy,” is the usual response. Yeah — because that’s what I want you to think. We suffer in silence for a variety of reasons, partially because we fear we’ll be misunderstood and also because we don’t want to bring people down with us. As painful as it is for people who suffer from a mental illness, it can be equally painful for their loved ones to watch, so we hide it from our family, friends, and coworkers. But wouldn’t it be easier if we could all acknowledge what’s happening and work towards making it better? If we could be open about our depression or anxiety or OCD, wouldn’t our loved ones want to help us? Part of the problem is that even when people want to help, they don’t know how. That’s where education comes into play. We need to teach people what mental illnesses are and how to treat them.

My mom has always told me that “bipolar disorder is not a death sentence”, but if it goes untreated it can be for some people. Suicide takes that lives of millions of people every year. This is unacceptable. We can’t keep sweeping it under the rug and pretending it’s not happening. I think people shrug it off because unless you know someone who has committed suicide, you don’t see the repercussions. Just like if you don’t know someone with a mental illness, you don’t see how destructive they can be. Or, conversely, how normal people who treat them can be.

Mental illness is real and it’s time we address it as the serious issue that it is. If you suffer from a mental illness, speak out — your voices deserves to be heard just as much, if not more, than a man with a bad comb-over and trashy rich girl.