Granted that this post is a little different to what I normally write about and I know it’s been a while since I last posted but I just needed to rant and get something off my chest – this is why I created my blog after all. I couldn’t find a way to link this post to relationships so I am going against all guidelines and just saying exactly what is on my mind. I often question whether people really care about mental health, or whether it’s just a facade.
As someone who has suffered from mental health issues for longer than I can remember (more to come on that in a later post), there is nothing more frustrating than someone who drums on about depression, anxiety and suicide and the importance of helping people suffering from these debilitating episodes or life long illnesses, yet regularly criticises people with the symptoms or ‘traits’ that define these mental health issues.
For example, people are oh so quick to share a tweet about checking on friends when another in a long line of celebrities takes their life or when it’s mental health awareness week but the same people are still so quick to bitch about a friend’s boyfriend because he never makes any effort or to laugh at the girl who always gets really drunk and overshares on Friday’s at work.
Mental health is more than depression
When you think of someone suffering from mental health problems people tend to imagine the person who is withdrawn or shy but often the most confident carefree person in the room is suffering too. Mental health issues take many forms from drink and drug abuse down to excessive spending, reckless behaviour and extreme mood swings.
People tend to forget that mental health and illness spreads much further than just feeling anxious or sad. Illnesses like bipolar, borderline personality disorder and schizophrenia also fall under the same category and there are probably people in your daily life, that you may have even known for years, that suffer from these without ever really letting on. Symptoms include everything from extreme arrogance and being annoyed really easily to self-harm and psychosis and often people are unfairly judged because of how these symptoms affect their lives.
When you truly care about mental health you do what you can to learn and understand that some people behave in a certain way, not because they are ‘bad people’ or have ‘weird’ personalities but because something deeper is going on. And you judging isn’t going to help.
While we are making progress, there is still a considerable amount of education to happen around mental health. All I ask is that before you pick at a person’s personality, call someone crazy because their mood fluctuates too often or laugh at how someone reacts to a situation, think twice. If we really want to make a difference and help those that are struggling through difficult times, do you research and never ever be too quick to judge.