I come from a broken family. I come from a lifetime of tragedies. I even tried therapy once, but it wasn't for me. I hate doctors and I hate medicine even more. An outsider will look in on my life and say I am happy and that I love my life. Because If I don't go to therapy every week and if I don't take pills every day, then I am okay, right?
Mental illness is a serious thing in our country. What's more serious is how many people are misdiagnosed or overlooked. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, all which are hereditary and can be found in more than one person within a family. I come from a family of enough mental illness to go around. Sure, some are more severe than others. Some go to therapy, some take lots of medicine, and some, well they just drink alcohol. Me? I'm forgotten.
When my sister was first diagnosed with her illnesses, it was tragic. We were scared and weren't sure what route to take. It has been a long journey since and not every decision has been easy. I have supported my sister from the moment we realized and I will continue to support her until the day I die.
But hey, I need help too.
I don't ask for help. It's not my style. Part of that is me being too proud to ask, the other part is not knowing what to say. See, the thing is, I don't know how I feel or what is wrong. Most people with mental illness don't. All I know is that I have good days and bad days and I don't know how to talk about it. I mean, I did say I don't do therapists.
We live in a world where people need proof that something is wrong. You go to the Emergency Room and say something hurts and they take a million x-rays and run tests all to prove that you are telling the truth. Mental Illness works the same. People need to see you go speak to a licensed professional every week or they need to know that an actual doctor has prescribed you medicine to believe you actually have a problem.
But I am here to tell you that is not true. The majority of people who go through life with a mental illness has never seen a doctor. That doesn't mean their illness isn't any less real than someone else's. It doesn't make it less scary. Mental illness is a very scary and real thing, especially if you don't have someone to talk to.
Thankfully, we have done better as a society to acknowledge those diagnosed and have become more supportive than we once were. But that doesn't change how many people are still overlooked because of someone else. It's not fair. It's not fair to be forgotten.
Because, I need help too.