Okay guys I have something interesting to point out that may challenge a few preconceptions.
Without a doubt there is stigma attached to mental illness. I have heard some people share the view that those with mental health issues are ‘dirty’ ‘trampy’ ‘dangerous’ and even to be avoided. This isn’t the case. Anybody at any time can fall poorly with mental illness regardless of class, status or background.
I’ve been harping on about this for some time now yet daily I am still faced with stigmatising opinions, some people think by talking openly about your mental health your ‘attention seeking’. Not everyone, I mean last time I checked depression, anxiety, OCD, bipolar and the many other mental health conditions are medical conditions, they’re illnesses. They aren’t some trend to jump on, they are serious conditions that millions of people suffer with. On the flip side it isn’t a crime to want to discuss your illness because our life is ours to live and discuss, our experiences are ours to share if we choose to do so.
Regardless lets think about the whole concept of mental illness, there are so many different mental health conditions which all present themselves very differently and have different symptoms but they have one thing in common, they are caused by a part of your body falling poorly. That’s not a crime and if anything the only thing we should judge is our society’s attitudes towards these illness. Let’s stop thinking its okay to belittle, mock or judge somebody because they have an illness because that’s what’s happening.
Another thing is when people that don’t know me on a personal level but have read my blogs assume I’m a really serious and moody person due to the fact I have a mental illness and blog about it. I think its a stereotype and preconception to assume just because somebody has an illness they cant be fun or happy. In fact at work I’m usually the one that cracks the jokes, the one always laughing. I still have my hobby’s, a relationship, friends and most importantly I still have a laugh. I’m just a regular 23 year old, the only difference is I happen to have a long term illness. that doesn’t define me. my ugly laugh however probably does.
Below are two photographs of myself. One taken during one of my worst relapses where I was severely poorly and my mental health was suffering to a huge degree. The other was taken during a period of great health where my mental state was strong and well. I bet you can’t differentiate between the two?! Think twice before judging those who are mentally ill because you can’t always see the illness manifest itself. There are so many preconceptions when it comes to mental health. I bet you there are more people in your life suffering with their mental health than you know and I also bet you can’t see my poorly in either picture.