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Mental Health should not be Taboo

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This post has sat here for a month with my deciding what to do. As I thought about it more and more, I realized that I was just fulfilling exactly what I want to stop. A taboo.

As we’ve seen the news of Mindy McCready’s suicide, I’ve seen more and more individuals commenting. This is an individual that had a life long struggle with mental health and despite having several attempts at help, that help wasn’t enough.

Mental health, depression, anxiety, PTSD, it’s all things we are afraid or ashamed to talk about. But why?

You just need to suck it up.

You need to get out more.”

Pills are a crutch.” 

You have no reason to feel like that.”

You’re crazy.”

I’m pretty sure you get my point. 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness. It could be your mother, your sister, your brother, a child, a friend. When these individuals face the above scrutiny from those around them, it makes it even harder to take the steps to find the help they need.

mental health

Mental health funding and access to providers is another huge issue for those needing help. While a primary care provider can   prescribe certain medications, it’s important for someone with a psychiatric background that can understand what is going on.

If you had a heart condition that required medication, you wouldn’t think twice about going to the doctor. It should be the same when it comes to an individual’s mental health.

I have fought mental illness (depression, anxiety, ADHD, PTSD) for half of my life. I have been ashamed of it as well. Obviously, you don’t feel pride for something that ails you but, it’s more than that. It’s the stigma, the judgement that we as society place on it. Just because you are depressed doesn’t mean your crazy.

We as a society need to stop judging those in need of caring for just another part of their health. That’s all it should be.

I’m actively in care for my physical health and my mental health. I went off medicine while pregnant with the boys and I am back in care so I can get on ADHD meds so I can find my focus.  It sucks that I’ve noticed a difference but it also shows me to remember, this isn’t a choice…it’s just another part of health.

Stop being ashamed. Stop judging. Stop making a stigma over something such as this.

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About Jenna Goodwin

Jenna Goodwin, Central Iowa Mom Blogger, is the mom of four, including identical twin boys. Jenna writes about life as a mom of multiples, living with fibromyalgia, and the latest must-have products for your entire family. Named Ames' Number One Twitterer by Iowa State Daily, Jenna stays active within the online social community and enjoys sharing her experiences as a parent as well as great finds to help the entire family.

Comments

  1. Darlene Ysaguirre says:

    This is a great post, something that dosent get talked about often enough. I agree that its just another part of health.

  2. Donna says:

    Great post Jenna! You’ll help more people than you’ll ever know by posting this!

  3. Tammy S says:

    I agree that it is a subject that doesn’t get talked about enough. It is no way the fault of the person. It is a disease. Like any other illness you need to treat it. Great post!

  4. I have struggled with depression for years myself, and am now on medication that I personally don’t have any desire to ever be off of. I had postpartum depression after both my daughters were born, and I went off the medication before I got pregnant with my second. I knew within a couple of months that I needed help again after she was born.

    I agree that many people just don’t understand why we can’t just “cheer up” or whatever. It isn’t even that we feel sad – it is a lot more than that, but hard to explain to people. I always explain it like before I was on my medication, when I think back now, my head felt like there was a constant “hum” and everything was happening around me, and I was just observing life.

    It is a condition that needs to be treated – same as any physical ailment. And people need to be aware of that!

    Great post:-)

  5. Great post, we need honesty and compassion about this issue…it’s been in the news a lot lately, and I think that’s a really positive thing. People need to be educated about mental illness. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Great post. Thank you for sharing and being so honest.

  7. I have recently been struggling with anxiety. It’s very scary.

  8. Wonderful post Jenna! You are so right that there is no reason that society should look at mental health problems any differently than they look at physcial health problems. I’m glad that you are able to realize that you need the help and are doing what it takes to take care of the problem. I’ve known others that try to deny the problem or just won’t do what’s necessary to take care of themselves. It’s always a sad ing to see, and often times there is little you can do to help someone that won’t get help for themselves.

  9. It’s so important that people share their stories and support friends and relatives who are struggling. One of my fave rock stars from back in the day, Adam Ant, has struggled with being bipolar for years. He’s been very candid in interviews both in the US and the UK about it. Here’s a recent interview with him in Rolling Stone – http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/q-a-adam-ant-on-returning-to-music-from-bipolar-disorder-20130219. I hope we can find some inspiration from people like him, too.

  10. I could not agree more. Unfortunately, it still is and it keeps so many who could truly use help from seeking it our of fear that they will be chastised. My dad was this way and I believe my sister probably is as well.

  11. I was just having a conversation about this earlier today. I have no idea why there is still such a stigma around mental illness. There are so many things for which we’ve learned not to make fun of people. However, it is still socially acceptable to call people “crazy” and “fat.” There is still a belief that both of those things are completely within a persons control – they are not, and they are often linked, too.

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