Mental Health Stigmas
Bringing Mental Illnesses & Mental Health into a good light
Mental illnesses are mental disorders of many types that are caused by external influences and biological influences. The main types of mental illnesses are(but are not limited to):
In my opinion, society has pushed humans to believe that to have a mental illness means that you’re crazy, unworthy, a freak, etc.
But, this is where it starts to go wrong.
When you’re growing up, you have a ton of other factors to worry about besides how frustrated you are on the inside. For example, as a kid you’re worried about what sports you want to participate in, which friends’ house you want to play at that weekend, and what you have for homework (maybe).
You most likely do not realize that all this built us frustration and thoughts inside you are abnormal, you probably think it is just growing hormones. At least that’s what I assumed.
As a child, I was always extremely stressed out. I could hardly ever sleep alone, it took me forever to fall asleep, I would wake up with panic attacks, and I was shy at school.
I always thought that this was just how it was, that everyone felt this way, because I didn’t know any better.
Which, to a certain extent I could have been correct about some people. However, I would stress myself out to the point where I would make myself sick. It was unhealthy to say the least.
I came to find out that as I grew older, I never grew out of it. It took me until I was 21 to finally seek help because I thought I was unworthy of it.
I thought that the other people out there that had worse problems than me were the only ones who deserved help. I guess I was just trying to stay humble, or maybe I was just being naïve, because I was wrong.
My life matters too. And so does yours. As well as your best friend, and your parents, and your siblings, and all the strangers you’ll come across during your day.
EVERYONE’S LIFE MATTERS. WE ALL MATTER.
No matter how big or small you think your problem is, YOU ARE WORTHY OF HELP.
No one can handle this life completely alone. Do not be ashamed of who you are.
Mental illness does not define who you are. It is most likely a chemical imbalance in your brain. Your genetics probably caused this imbalance in your brain, which is out of your control.
Or it was caused by outside influences, such as traumas, which is also out of your control.
DO NOT BLAME YOURSELF.
YOU WILL GET THROUGH THIS.
You are a bright light. A beautiful smile for someone to look at. A listening ear for someone to talk to. A warming embrace for someone who needs a friend.
YOU ARE A BEAUTIFUL HUMAN, WITH A BEAUTIFUL SOUL.
DO NOT EVER, EVER, GIVE UP.
I AM HERE FOR YOU.
MANY OTHER PEOPLE ARE HERE FOR YOU, AND CARE ABOUT YOU, AND LOVE YOU.
THERE IS HELP OUT THERE.
YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH.
YOU ARE COMPLETELY WORTHY.
THE SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE IS [ Call 1-800-273-8255 ]
DO IT IF YOU NEED TO, PLEASE. FOR ME, I CARE ABOUT YOU.
Even if (thankfully) suicide is not on your mind, still consider making an appointment with a counselor. It feels good to talk to someone who is unbiased. I know it helped me a lot.
Project: I Define Me is closing the gap between the stigmas of mental illness.
They are breaking down the stereotypes one human at a time. In their words, “shattering assumptions about mental illness one story at a time.”
I saw this project through a friend on Instagram, and it really grabbed my attention. I find what this cause is embracing to be incredible.
There have been way too many suicides in the news lately, not to mention all the ones we do not know about because they are not a celebrity.
Mental illness needs to be talked about.
The cause, Project: I Define Me was founded by, Pooja Mehta. She realized that the factual "one in every four" individuals that are diagnosed with a mental illness is a group she would not like to be recognized with.
Not that it is a negative connotation, but in her words, "this anonymity allows people to talk about the issue of mental illness in theabstract, and not put a face to it, which makes it easier to not care about the stigma and injustices faced by people with mental illness. I want society to see, engage with, and fight for us because we are not 1 in 4, we are people."
This hits home. I could not have put it in to words better myself. Her movement, to present stories of real-life plain jane's, has helped me come forward with my truth in ways I never thought I would do before. I urge other people struggling to reach out to Pooja and ask to be a part of this incredible cause.
She has created lovely stickers that will go towards supporting her career and charity goals.
If you're wondering how you can show some love: You can follow, Project I Define Me on Instagram or she has also started a Go Fund Me account for this wonderful project!
I asked Pooja what her plans were for the future and she replied, "In the short term I am working on becoming incorporated as a non-profit, and launching a merchandise line.
Long-term, I want to develop more of a community; Project: I Define Me speaking events, and collaborations with minority groups. I want every person with a mental illness to know about this, and get strength from this community."
This nearly brings tears to my eyes, because as an individual soul who once thought I was invincible, and then started experiencing the wraths of mental illness, I want everyone who has ever had a bad thought to find the strength to seek help.
It’s important to realize that mental illness is not who you are, it’s what you have. Reaching out for help does not make you weak, it makes you stronger.
You are putting your health and your well being as a main priority and taking actions to overcome those bad feelings.
You, and you alone, should be your main priority. It is not selfish. You have to fully take care of yourself in order to fully help others as well.
How can you fill up a glass of water with an empty pitcher? You could try but you wouldn't make it very far. Your health is the most important; if you need help with coping strategies, click here.
It’s quite amazing to see many individuals break the barriers and come out and talk about whom they are.
They are photographers and nurses and hockey players and teachers and PEOPLE. They are not a crazy, mental person. They are a human being, struggling with everyday problems just like you.
Breaking down these stigmas is significant so that people feel comfortable enough to talk about it and seek help. It is OK to have a mental disorder. It’s almost like having a fractured limb. Recognize the problem, seek treatment, cope, and live your life.
I hope to inspire at least one person to keep moving forward.
I hope I made at least one person realize that it is OK.
Then that one person will tell it to another person.
Then that person will tell at least one more person.
Soon enough, mental illness will not be seen in such a negative light anymore.
Talk to people. Spread the word.
You might not even realize how many people are suffering with something because they are afraid to bring up.
How beautiful would it be if you could go through this together? It will make it easier if you have someone to support you, lift you up, and talk to you. You never know how much of an impact even a smile could bring.
Think about how many lives we could save if we all lifted each other up while we grew together. Let's nourish to flourish. Let’s support with no boundaries. Let’s give without expecting anything in return. Kindness truly can make a difference and that difference can start with YOU.