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.”
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 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.