Remove the Taboo

Mental illness affects at least forty percent of Americans living in the U.S. according to the AADA. With statistics like this, we really need to change the way that we look at mental illness; it’s time to open up about what’s really going on within our society. If we don’t talk about mental illness, we will never truly understand it. We will continue to be controlled by stigma if we don’t change this. What can we do?

  • Talk about mental illness

Mental health is just as prevalent in our daily lives as anything else, whether we realize it or not. If you find yourself wanting or needing to talk about mental health, don’t hold back on society’s account. Mental health is super important to understand, so stop ignoring it! If we talk about it, there are no more secrets to be had.

  • Tackle discriminatory vocabulary

You’re not “dramatic” if you find yourself getting anxious. You’re not “fishing for attention” when you talk about your depression. You’re not “crazy” if you need therapy. You’re normal, so if you find yourself, or someone else referring to mental illness in this manner, take a step back. By using these terms, we contribute to the stereotypes.

  • Educate yourself

Whether you struggle with mental illness or not, it’s important to educate yourself about it. The more we know about mental health, the healthier we can be and the more we can help others. Knowing the real story removes any stereotypes around mental illness.

  • Be honest with your feelings

If you need to talk to someone, it’s okay to do so! By talking to someone else, you’ll be able to further understand yourself and your feelings. I also recommend therapy to everyone… we all need an objective view of ourselves every now and then.

  • Don’t alienate those who have a mental illness

In our society, we are so quick to judge. We may not understand others or why they do things, and we may not understand what others are going through. But just remember that their feelings are valid, whether you understand them or not.

  • Know it’s not for attention

You can’t say you’re an advocate for mental health, but then tell someone to stop looking for attention when they speak about what they’re going through. If you’re struggling, please say something. Sure, not everyone will understand, but your feelings are valid.

You are not alone, we stand with you.