Why is there such a stigma against mental illness in this country? We are too afraid to talk about it, but why is that? Is it such a new topic that we don't want to offend anyone? Does it fall under the category of "politically incorrect topics" like religion and finances? Is the generational divide too large for us to share a common understanding? If someone has the answer please, shoot me a message.
One of my good friends is dealing with depression. Let's call her Robin. Robin has been dealing with this illness for almost a year now and still struggles to find people who will have open dialogue on the topic. She even says her family attempts to avoid the subject. She and I have conversations about how it affects her mood and daily life, but she's more hesitant to talk about it because she feels our culture aims to prevent such discussion.
That is just disgusting. A person with depression or any other mental illness should not feel anxious or afraid to speak up about their experience. I love the United States of America, but it's about time we start taking mental illness seriously. Mental health is something that needs more attention and understanding. Physical sickness has always been treated as a priority, students are encouraged to stay home from school if they don’t feel well. How about a student having an anxiety attack, but shows no physical symptoms? I’ve heard too many stories where the person is disregarded because they think he or she is making it up. Come on.
Depression is a serious situation that can become a life or death scenario. The first step to preventing that horrific potential is listening and opening up to discussions about how depression affects the person entrapped. Sharing is caring; a simple cliché mindset that holds truer than ever.
Robin should never feel hesitant to share her emotions with those she loves. We need a supportive society that will be there to hear her struggles and offer encouragement. Our culture needs to embrace the difficulties of mental illness, in every manner possible.
Our millennial generation is one that raises our voice when we see injustice. That's why we need to keep this conversation going; so every generation realizes the severity of mental illness. Share your story on social media. You don’t have to be an expert; I am clearly not. If you have friends struggling with mental health or you yourself are, feel free to reach out and let me know if I hit the target or missed the mark. All I know is, opening up the conversation has the potential to beat a culture norm of political correctness and fear.
Let's make sure everyone feels safe to share their struggles; it may save a life.