Let’s stop the stigma

I wanted to write a blog post in honour of May being mental health awareness month, a (very) small step towards breaking the stigma around mental health and illnesses. I shared a short version of this on my Instagram already. But let’s pay some more attention to this shall we?

Mental disorders affect 1 in 4 people at least once in their life. Approximately 450 million people suffer from such things every day. Their days are difficult. Getting out of bed is difficult, but it’s not the kind of wanting to stay in bed we experience a lot. Facing new days is hard. Taking care of yourself is hard. It doesn’t feel like being alive, it feels like surviving. 25% of our world population deals with mental issues and only two-thirds of those people seek help. You could call that their problem, that it’s where they’ve gone wrong. But it’s not. It’s the way we’ve dealt with it and the stigma we created ourselves. Physical illnesses or problems are excuses to stay home from school, work and anything that’s your responsibility. Mental illnesses aren’t. People struggling with mental health issues often feel like a failure when it’s our society that has failed to understand. I’m lucky to have some people that do understand and to meet and surround myself with people that are compassionate and positive. But it makes me sad to see how every city, every village and every school still has too many people that run the other way when it comes to mental health. Broken arms and legs get treated, depression and anxiety disorders are ‘just for attention’ when these things should be taken and treated just as seriously.

If you know someone’s struggling, or even if you notice someone isn’t feeling great, try to take a moment to talk to that person and show them you care. Make the difference, let them see there are still people out there that do want to listen. Be nice. You never know what it took someone to get out of bed and show up today. You never know how close someone is to falling off the edge. Kindness doesn’t cost a single thing. Together we can break the stigma.

”Going to therapy needs to become as normalized as going to the gym; if our minds get out of shape, the rest of us will follow.” —  Christopher Charles Wood

If you need someone to talk to or just someone who listens, I will be there and I will listen. I will try to understand which isn’t hard for me because life hasn’t gone easy on me neither. It doesn’t matter if you know me personally, I’m glad to help and my DMs and messages are always open!