Mental illness – there is stigma in those words. The statistics state that 49% of people will suffer from some mental illness at some point in their lives. Still most will not get help for it.
On the other hand, prescriptions for Paxil and other anti-depressants are sky-rocketing. It is like it is almost part of being normal to be on an anti-depressant.
It is when you label it as a ‘mental illness’ versus merely calling it depression that you get the negativity.
Depression is a mental illness.
I think that there are too many people being put on drugs when they need to be taught how to handle life’s stresses. I know that there are people who need the medication. I take medications myself. I know how I get when I miss my meds.
I have worked hard over the years to get my doses lowered to the least amount possible. Also the least number of pills possible. What have I done? That is what I will be sharing with you on this blog during the coming weeks.
It has been a lot of hard work. Recovery from mental illness is not easy, but it is possible. It is like recovery from alcoholism. For me, there hasn’t been a “cure”, but recovery in mental illness.
I have met some people who have been cured. I think that is wonderful. God hasn’t seen fit to cure me. That is ok. It keeps me depending on Him more.
So, what do we do about the stigma of mental illness? There isn’t a stigma with cancer, despite that most cancers are caused by the person’s past actions. Mental illness isn’t caused by anyone’s past actions, for the most part. There are some things that could cause depression that you did. But mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorder, borderline personality disorder. Those are not caused by someone’s actions. So why the stigma? It isn’t anyone’s fault.
We don’t blame the diabetic. We don’t blame the cancer patient. As a society, we need to work at accepting mental illness. Look at the statistics. Someone you know is likely to suffer from mental illness. Are you going to judge them? Look down on them?
Why don’t you start today and be more accepting for yourself. It can start with you and grow from there. Acceptance is the key.