"It's all in your head," "You are being dramatic," "Chill out," "You just want attention," are all phrases that I get on a weekly basis from people who couldn't possibly understand how I feel. They think that my behaviors are always purposeful. They think that my emotions are unstable because I want them to be.

Mental illnesses aren't things people can just "get over." It's not a cold that goes away in a few days. A lot of times it's permanent. It is time that society change the way it perceives these illnesses so that those suffering can spend more time getting well and less time justifying their condition to others. The problem with society's perception of mental illnesses is that they see them, but refuse to take them seriously.

The most common types of diseases burdening people in this world are mental illnesses. Approximately twenty-six percent of Americans suffer from them. However, people still refuse to see mental illness as a real problem. Mental diseases can arise from chemical imbalances in the brain or events that took place in one's life, but because there is no "test" for people who claim to have them, others believe that its not a real issue. Mental disease IS a medical issue and needs to be taken seriously.

If your friend is having a mood swing one day don't automatically assume it is because they are just being dramatic. Realize that there may be underlying issue. Try and talk to them to see how they are feeling. Maybe they have a mental disorder that they are unaware of. The best way for them to get help is by having someone there for them to understand and talk to about it. Society needs to be there for people with mental disorders and not push them out.

People who have mental disorders already feel bad. When outsiders make negative claims and embody untrue perceptions about these diseases then the people suffering begin to feel even worse. There is no way for them to get better if they are constantly told that what they are feeling is just a phase or that they are lying.

So if you think someone you know may have a mental illness please be there for them. Do not push them out and do not blame them. They are trying to get by the best they can. Let's change the way society perceives mental illness one brain at a time.