Stop Mental Health Stigma

Stop Mental Health Stigma

It's ok not to be ok.
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With May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I think it’s a good time to round it off with this. Although we have come a long way and I think my generation has done a good job at encouraging others, there's still a long way to go.

For years I struggled with mental health issues. My best advice for someone struggling is to reach out. Being open and getting help is such an important step and is so freeing.

Mental illness is not just the stereotypical schizophrenia or bipolar disorder. Mental illnesses range from things such as eating and mood disorders to personality disorders and addiction. More people suffer from these things than we realize….neighbors, friends, children, parents. Anyone can be struggling, so be kind.

Seeing a therapist, being on medicine or spending time in a mental health center does not make you crazy or weird or any other insult people come up with. Sometimes you just aren't feeling like yourself and need help getting back on your feet.

It is okay to not be okay. It is okay to ask for help when you need it.

Everyone has their own battles, some are just bigger than others and need a bigger army to fight.

The worst thing is hearing people say things such as “your life is so good, what do you have to be sad/nervous/upset about?” Sometimes people actually need help. Sometimes things go on behind closed doors that others have no idea about. Sometimes people can’t control their own brains. Sometimes people actually have hormone imbalances or brain trauma that causes them to have some sort of mental health issues. It isn’t all just made up for attention.

{I will say that there are definitely people that make up mental illnesses for attention, but that’s another problem within itself.}

Sometimes people experience negative situations that affect them in ways others can’t understand. For example, veterans and victims of trauma often suffer from PTSD.

Or maybe you were bullied as a child and you just let it slide, not everyone does that. Some people are repeatedly bullied and end up experiencing things such as body dysmorphic disorder and depression later on in life. You never know what else goes on in a person’s life. Be kind and lift each other up.

Another common problem in society that is toxic to mental health is sarcastically belittling mental illness. I’m sure you’ve overheard a snide comment like “everyone’s depressed now.” Mental health isn’t something to take lightly. If we spoke up and let our emotions out in healthy ways, maybe everyone wouldn’t be depressed.

It is people that belittle mental health that make it worse. You make those people who are on the verge of getting help revert and go back into their shell.

People that have never really struggled with anything don’t quite understand. They can’t really understand why sometimes you’re just sad, or mad, or just numb. You may get comments like "you're so boring" or "stop being so down." I’m so sorry that my mental health is an inconvenience to you. If I could just “get over it” don’t you think I would have by now?

I am such a big advocate for checking in on people. So many mental health issues can be so easily hidden. You don't need to go diagnosing people, but if someone seems a little off maybe check in on them.

A lot of mental illnesses come and go. They’re never really "cured", but many people will learn coping mechanisms that greatly improve their daily lives. A big part of successful treatment is having a support system.

That being said, please do not say “I'm always here if you need anything” if you don’t actually mean it. It is very toxic to someone with a mental illness if they try to open up to you and you shut them out.

Don’t be someone’s therapist if you aren’t actually a therapist. People aren’t always looking for answers or for you to fix their problems. Sometimes just an open ear and a shoulder to lean on is what is needed. If you reach out to someone and they aren’t ready to talk, don’t pressure them. Just be supportive from a distance. Sometimes just a simple “Hey, I’ve been thinking about you. Hope you have a good day!” message goes a long way.

{So many people have helped me along the way and many of them don’t even know it. If you have ever been a supporter or just given an encouraging statement, thank you so much!!}

Everyone deals with things in different ways. Let’s stop judging each other and labeling people for things that are sometimes out of their control. Nobody is perfect. Personally, I think everyone should take “mental health days” or have relaxation times. Everyone gets stressed and worn out. Take care of yourself and each other.


National Suicide hotline: 1-800-273-8255

National Substance Abuse hotline: 1-800-662-4357

National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233

Military OneSource: 1-800-342-9647

U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Mental Health Resources


Cover Image Credit: Hannah Ward

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To The Person Who Feels Suicidal But Doesn't Want To Die

Suicidal thoughts are not black and white.
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Everyone assumes that if you have suicidal thoughts that means you want to die.

From an outside perspective, suicidal thoughts are rarely looked into deeper than the surface level. Either you have suicidal thoughts and you want to die, or you don't have suicidal thoughts and you want to live. What most people don't understand is that people live in between those two statements, I for one am one of them.

I've had suicidal thoughts since I was a kid.

My first recollection of it was when I came home after school one day and got in trouble, and while I was just sitting in the dining room I kept thinking, “I wonder what it would be like to take a knife from the kitchen and just shove it into my stomach." I didn't want to die, or even hurt myself for that matter. But those thoughts haven't stopped since.

I've thought about going into the bathroom and taking every single pill I could find and just drifting to sleep and never waking back up, I've thought about hurting myself to take the pain away, just a few days ago on my way to work I thought about driving my car straight into a tree. But I didn't. Why? Because even though that urge was so strong, I didn't want to die. I still don't, I don't want my life to end.

I don't think I've ever told anyone about these feelings. I don't want others to worry because the first thing anyone thinks when you tell them you have thoughts about hurting or killing yourself is that you're absolutely going to do it and they begin to panic. Yes, I have suicidal thoughts, but I don't want to die.

It's a confusing feeling, it's a scary feeling.

When the depression takes over you feel like you aren't in control. It's like you're drowning.

Every bad memory, every single thing that hurt you, every bad thing you've ever done comes back and grabs you by the ankle and drags you back under the water just as you're about the reach the surface. It's suffocating and not being able to do anything about it.

The hardest part is you never know when these thoughts are going to come. Some days you're just so happy and can't believe how good your life is, and the very next day you could be alone in a dark room unable to see because of the tears welling up in your eyes and thinking you'd be better off dead.

You feel alone, you feel like a burden to everyone around you, you feel like the world would be better off without you. I wish it was something I could just turn off but I can't, no matter how hard I try.

These feelings come in waves.

It feels like you're swimming and the sun is shining and you're having a great time until a wave comes and sucks you under into the darkness of the water. No matter how hard you try to reach the surface again a new wave comes and hits you back under again, and again, and again.

And then it just stops.

But you never know when the next wave is going to come. You never know when you're going to be sucked back under.

I always wondered if I was the only one like this.

It didn't make any sense to me, how did I think about suicide so often but not want to die? But I was thinking about it in black and white, I thought I wasn't allowed to have those feelings since I wasn't going to act on them. But then I read articles much like this one and I realized I'm not the only one. Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, and my feelings are valid.

To everyone who feels this way, you aren't alone.

I thought I was for the longest time, I thought I was the only one who felt this way and I didn't understand how I could feel this way. But please, I implore you to talk to someone, anyone, about the way you're feeling, whether it be a family member, significant other, a friend, a therapist.

My biggest mistake all these years was never telling anyone how I feel in fear that they would either brush me off because “who could be suicidal but not want to die?" or panic and try to commit me to a hospital or something. Writing this article has been the greatest feeling of relief I've felt in a long time, talking about it helps. I know it's scary to tell people how you're feeling, but you're not alone and you don't have to go through this alone.

Suicidal thoughts aren't black and white, your feelings are valid, and there are people here for you. You are not alone.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255


Cover Image Credit: BengaliClicker

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Sorry Guys, Girls Actually Want Attention From Other Girls

Who else knows fashion, beauty, style, or looks better than other females themselves?

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Men are ya know, "great." We love 'em (somedays). Some girls cry over men, run their lives around men, and make life choices because of men.

But, why should we try to impress men? Men don't understand the time it takes to "beat our face" with makeup. Men don't understand the soreness our arms experienced to get these perfect curls. Some men don't understand how excited we are to score big in the Urban Outfitters clearance section.

Some ladies live by "beauty is pain." But sorry guys, they are not here to impress you.

Why would some ladies spend all the time, effort, and money for men, when some men can't distinguish mascara from lipgloss.

Women are trying to impress other women.

You ever get a compliment from a fellow female and they're like, "Girl, yes girl. The outfit, the hair, YES." Ladies understand and appreciate our efforts.

Do you think what ladies post on social media is to get men pouring in their DMs? No.

We are sharing pictures to inspire and create a group of women to be creative and stylish themselves. Us ladies are trying to build an empire of strong women, and we will not spend time just to look good for men.

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