I won’t write much about my own experiences, I’ve already have on several occasions.
(I added the links to older posts at the end of this one).
What I’d like to say is that it should be mental health awareness week every week.
According to WHO (the World Health Organisation), “depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, and is a major contributor to the overall global burden of disease”.
I don’t think everyone understands how debilitating a mental illness can be and how it doesn’t matter how intelligent or well-rounded individual you might be. It can still get you. It’s irrational and it can affect anyone.
And even if they do understand, not everyone knows how to react or support those who suffer.
Unfortunately, there is still stigma around mental health. Although most people can be understanding and compassionate, they don’t know how to act around you. They treat you as if you suffer from a contagious disease they might catch so they “support” you from a safe distance.
Others just completely avoid you. They stop treating you as a friend for whatever reason. Maybe they are scared, maybe they suffer themselves, maybe they don’t want to be friends with someone who struggles.
Other just pity you. And you can see the pity in their eyes. And pity is probably one of the worst responses to someone who is struggling.
If we all knew how to really support each other, then it might make it easier for someone to admit they have a problem and seek for help, without being terrified about what others would think, without feeling that asking for help is seen as weakness, it’s actually one of the toughest, bravest things to do.
There is a desperate need for awareness.
Suffering from mental illness doesn’t mean you are depressed or anxious or worried or psychotic or neurotic all of the time. You can still communicate, have a laugh, have a chat, do things. It’s still you. Even at your darkest times, when you do not recognise yourself, deep deep down it’s still you.
I hope that one day, mental illness can be treated as any other illness- because it is- and there is enough support available.
Love you all