This is the greatest thing I have ever seen. People do not understand that mental illnesses, such as depression, are actual chemical imbalances in your body. They are not brought on by choice. My dad was diagnosed with depression. He was so ashamed of it that he hid it from me and my brothers. A month later, he killed himself. The stigma that comes with mental illness made my Dad embarrassed to talk to his own kids about this problem because he felt like less of a man.
Erase the stigma. The more we talk about mental illness, the less likely it will end in suicide.
This even extends beyond the extremely dire circumstances. How many parents deny their kids ADHD medication and constructive support only to have severe consequences in their options later in life? How many people suffer in silence for way too long with thought and mood disorders because they’re so ashamed of their inability to cope?
Mental illness benefits from early intervention as well. When people wait until they’re in dire circumstances to seek out help figuring out coping skills and becoming functional again, it is a million times as difficult to find your way back to balanced state of mind. When stigma 1) causes you to suffer in silence, 2) leaves you ignorant of your options and resources, 3) limits those resources due to general ignorance (even in medical professionals :|), that’s a big fucking problem.
I’m still on this road 7 years after it got really bad due to all the the above. I’m really only starting to be able to manage a semi-normal life again. Really, don’t wait until you can take it anymore because you are just creating a million other obstacles you’ll need to overcome. I’m lucky to have the support I need and the opportunity and ability to try. The last thing someone in this kind of position needs is others judging them for their “weakness.” Shut up. Anyone who can learn to work with their mental illness and be a relatively well adjusted person is fucking strong. You are learning to fight your brain’s chemistry and thought patterns and even your own neurology. It takes willpower and a shit ton of hard work. Sometimes it isn’t possible. Just like, you know, an illness.
Research finds that personal experience with mental illness is fairly prevalent [in Canada]. For example, 15 percent of Canadians report that they have been diagnosed by a doctor as being clinically depressed, while significant numbers report experience with many issues associated with mental illness, such as stress (36%) and feelings of helplessness or worthlessness (23%).
It would be reasonable to assume that attitudes in the US are similar.