In recent months there has been a lot of talk about the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy. Tonight I stumbled across a blog post written on the website for Psychology Today. The author related that policy to the way people feel about mental health. All too often people stay quiet because that is what is expected of them.
This post looked at how people feel when someone discloses, or doesn’t disclose, their feelings of depression, suicide, or their mental illness in general. The author talked about how mental health is not only stigmatized but it is also stereotyped; many people see one extreme end of the mental illness spectrum and believe that all people suffering with these illnesses act this way.
Some people become really uncomfortable when it comes to others admitting they are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression, but this shouldn’t be the case. With the economy on a downward spiral and depression become more common across the nation, these shouldn’t be things others are ashamed of. Speaking up and admitting you may need help is the first, and biggest, step. Depression, suicide, and mental illness should not fall under the “don’t ask don’t tell” category.