Those Who Are Getting Help For Their Mental Illness Deserve Extra Love This Mental Health Awareness Month
You do not have to be at your worst to be deserving of support. You do not have to be hurting yourself to be deserving of help.
May is Mental Health Awareness Month, an occasion I really hope you're not hearing about for the first time. At a time when one in five Americans experience some form of mental illness, a month aimed at raising awareness, reducing stigma, and connecting people with lifesaving resources is integral. As the month comes to a close, I think one area that often gets overlooked when talking about mental health is the gray area of living with mental illness while actively being in treatment for it.
The thing about mental illness is that the goal often isn't to be "cured" the way it is with a lot of physical illnesses. Oftentimes, the goal is to find your way to an effective treatment plan that stops your mental illness from interfering with living a healthy and fulfilling life. And this doesn't always mean living a life free from it altogether. The truth is, that's not always a possibility.
Regardless, there are some parts of living in this gray area that deserve to be spoken about this Mental Health Awareness Month.
Something that comes up a lot for people living with mental illness, especially certain ones like various eating disorders, is the feeling that one isn't "sick enough" to deserve help or concern. Like one has to fit the stereotypical "look" of someone struggling with depression, anxiety, OCD, PTSD, etc., etc. in order to be deserving of support, either personally or professionally. Like one has to hit what society deems "rock bottom" or maintain symptoms that match what media depicts as being mentally ill.
This, of course, is not the case.
Everyone is deserving of love and support. Especially those who have already overcome some of the toughest hurdles that come with initially reaching out for help and managed to keep fighting for the life they want time and time again.
Showing up is tough work. Going to your appointments every week, taking your medication every day, getting out of bed and showing up to life is tough work. And it deserves to be recognized as that. You do not have to be at your worst to be deserving of support. You do not have to be hurting yourself to be deserving of help. You are deserving of help.
Happy Mental Health Awareness Month. May you remember this month and every one that hope is real and help is out there.
To learn more, visit https://twloha.com/find-help/ or https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/finding-help. If you or someone you know is thinking about suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255, text HOME to 741741, or visit the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline online here.