It’s National Mental Health Awareness month and the internet is full of images of green ribbons. Mental health is an important topic to me. As I’ve mentioned on this blog before, I have both anxiety and depression. I’ve done therapy, been to a doctor, and I’m on medication to manage the diseases. For it is a disease, no matter how you put it. It’s just not always visible and that is why awareness is so important.
I’ve written before that people are afraid to come forward with their mental illness. They fear being rejected by friends and family. Or they’ve been told before they are doing and saying things for attention. Bad experiences cause them to shut down. I know this feeling. I’ve kept my mental issues from various people over the years. I’ve hidden my anxiety and sadness to appear normal. However, you can only hide those feelings for so long before something gives.
I’m more open about my own issues. It is one of the most difficult things I do. Awareness makes people feel less alone with their disorders. It can encourage them to get help or at least talk to someone. There is no shame in having a mental illness. There is no shame in asking for help. Of course, the mentality that there is something wrong is hard to shake. Society is still stuck in the stone ages about mental illness for the most part. However, I’m proud of the strides people are taking with outreach and awareness.
As I stated before, mental illness isn’t always visible. Some people are highly functioning while they are suffering mental issues. You wouldn’t know unless they said something. However, never ignore a plea for help. If you need help or know someone who is in need, here are some resources: