Can We Talk About How We Don’t Talk About Mental Illness?
Health and Wellness

Can We Talk About How We Don’t Talk About Mental Illness?

Why is it still a social taboo?

Everyday Health

This question came to me as I was once at a party and it had become that part of night where everyone discusses their deep dark secrets. While we were all sitting around in sweat-filled basement taking instagram photos and living the “teenage dream”, we all suddenly confessed. We all had a mental illness.

We were from different walks of life, places, and even schools, but we all felt the need to confess that our brain wasn’t working the way we wanted it to. Some of these people I had known for years, and they never told me. Their shiny outside exterior of perfection cracked open to the real person underneath. Frustrated I yelled out above the music, “Why doesn’t anyone ever talk about this?”

While I do feel that while we as a society have become better at detecting and treating mental illness there’s one thing we seem to lack still; a dialogue about mental illness. I was officially diagnosed with OCD about a year ago. Before then I had the usual diagnosis of anxiety and depression, but it took a serious psychologist to find the root of the problem. The second I found out, I told everyone. It was like when that guy on Spongebob proclaimed the greatness of a crabby patty with jellyfish jelly. As soon as I was given a title, I announced it. However, when the diagnosis was simply depression and anxiety; I didn’t tell a soul. Yet, when I am being open with people, almost everyone confessed they had struggled with mental illness.

Are we just walking by people that are going through the same thing as us? I can understand when people don’t want to open a conversation stating their medical history. However, why can we say casually “I have Diabetes” or “I get migraines" and get sympathy but refuse to say “I have depression” due to stigma? Of course, mental illness being very personal is a factor but it’s important to remember that it’s a medical illness too, with hormone imbalances and symptoms. You should be able to say “I can’t come to school today, I have the Flu,” and “I can’t come to school today. I’m struggling with a chronic mental illness and it’s bad today,”.

What a lot of people find comforting is talking to someone who went through the same situation as them. We should start doing that. We should discuss mental illness with other people. It doesn’t have to be awkward, it can be a conversation. And if people don’t want to discuss it, that’s okay too. No matter your mental illness you should be able to treat it as you treat any other illness. Your brain is a part of your body too.

I understand not bring this up as an ice breaker or even when you sort of know someone. But I have had friends that suffered for years and did’t want to tell me because it was “to awkward”. Mental illness awareness is greater than ever; so should our conversations.

When you walk down the street, know you are walking past people who have suffered the same aliments as you. Know they are still walking. Know there are others. The first step to solving any problem is admitting you have one. I admit that I am sometimes scared to say I have a mental illness. Now I’m ready to remedy it.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

10 Etsy Father's Day Gifts Under $40 To Support Your Dad And Small Businesses

Stores may still be closed, but the internet is still wide open. So, while you're already shopping online check out Etsy for your Father's Day needs and support small creators.

As June approaches, Father's Day is coming up quickly with it. While they may not ask for much, it's always a nice gesture to give your dad something special to share your appreciation. Although, at the same time, it might be difficult to find the perfect gift either for their humor or that will be practical.

On a normal occasion, it's simple to find a gift for your father figures in stores, but for the times we're currently in our access has become very limited. Small and independent businesses need help now more than ever, so what better time than now to support them? If you're still stuck on what to give for Father's Day, look to this list for some inspiration that won't hurt your wallet too much.

Keep Reading... Show less

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

12 Ways To Help The #BlackLivesMatter Movement If You CAN'T Protest

We can all do better. Join the fight against racial injustice.

The current state of the world has created the perfect storm for change in America. But with change there is always risk. Although protests have sprung up all across America, COVID-19 is still a very real risk. Luckily, you can help bring about change from the comfort of your own home. And no, I don't mean just by posting a black square on social media.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments