Why I’m Learning More About Mental Illness Every Day
Disclaimer: All information, data and material contained, presented, or provided on this post is written from my first hand experiences of mental illness from loved ones. It is not to be construed or intended as providing medical or legal advice. Decisions you make about your family’s healthcare are important and should be made in consultation with a competent medical professional. I’m not a physician and do not claim to be.
For those that don’t know what Yik Yak is, it’s another social media network that you can post updates on anonymously.
It was Dec 8th, 2015 at 2:20 am. (What? I work when other people are sleeping, no judging here, deal!)
They said that being lonely is getting the better of them and they considered ending their life.
Same thing this year. Another person said if I passed away would any one notice or think of me? And the other yak said I’m feeling sad and down on myself. That was around January 19th.
It amazes me how many people commented reached out to these people for help. The thread was super long, mentioning places this person should go and are these people ok? As millienials many of us have a reputation of being into ourselves and feeling entitled. I hear it all the time from people. But these “Yaks” prove that wrong.
WHY I’M STILL LEARNING ABOUT MENTAL ILLNESS EVERYDAY.
1. Mental illness is mental illness.
The treatment of people with mental illnesses is not handled well. I know from watching and from personal experience with loved ones. As I write this, I continue to learn.
We don’t think to turn away people with diseases or cancers from hospitals. We don’t ostracize or punish people with genetic or physiological conditions, so why is this the case with mental health conditions? So why the stigma? And overall, why do we still hesitate to treat mental illness the same way we treat other health conditions?
There’s a stigma because society in general has stereotypical views about mental illness and how it makes people tick. Many people think that people with mental illness are not safe to be around and can cause harm. What I have learned? They have a slightly higher chance being targeted or harming themselves than harming other people.
Mental illness stigma and discrimination by itself can also worsen someone’s mental health problems, and trap people in a hamster wheel cycle of illness. Stigma and discrimination can keep them from seeking help in the first place. Not being welcomed, poor housing conditions, not finding work and living I poverty are all linked to mental illness.
People with mental illnesses are able to turn things around, but only when the problem is acknowledged and not ignored. Denying its existence allows it to fester and makes it worst. Some mental health problems come from chemical brain imbalances and some happens from certain life events have been so impactful that the person continues to have flashbacks from them. People from both categories benefit from seeking help and treatment which leads to recovery.
A person with mental health issues is more likely of any group with a long-term health condition or illness to:
- Not Live in a livable home and find stable employment
- Not be in a stable committed relationship and to be included/welcomed in society
- Be labeled and stereotyped as threatening, a ticking time bomb and precarious.
These scenarios can be aggravated by the media. As I write this post, the media associated mental illness with criminal activity, or displayed people with mental health problems as hazardous, deadly, or very disabled and unable to live normal lives THREE TIMES. (While there are a few dangerous ones out there, everyone is not the same. Depression comes along in many different ways; no two people will go through the exact same journey.)
I’ll be writing my first hand experiences with mental illness with family and friends through a series of posts.
A version of this appears in the Huffington Post.
If you or know someone that needs help, call 1–800–273–8255 for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
Hello! I’m Alesha! I’m a musician, actress, entrepreneur and writer and recent hospital patient (I still can’t believe that is real).Follow on Twitter. Let me know what you want me to write! Click here! I’m writing for Thrive Global, who’s mission is to change the way we work and live. As stated by Arianna Huffington, for far too long, we have been operating under a collective delusion that burning out is the necessary price for achieving success. This could be less true. All the latest science is conclusive that, in fact, not only is there no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and high performance, but performance is actually improved when we prioritize our health and well-being. It’s time to move from knowing what to do to actually doing it. With Thrive Global leading the way, I’m confident that we can have a mindset change on work-life balance. If you like what I’m writing, give me a heart and share! :)