Nearly 10 days into my challenge to myself, and my promise to you, and I have to tell you, the amount of conversations about mental health I’ve had in the past 10 days are more than I’ve had in the past 6 months. I believe there’s something comforting about someone else sharing their story and talking openly about a subject that has so much stigma attached to it that it opens the door for others to talk about it, too. And I’m so thankful for that.
Today, I had a conversation about the stigma attached to medicating for help with mental illness. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: There’s nothing wrong with getting help. That help for some may be seeking out a therapist, taking medication or possibly just taking the first step to recognize they may struggle with a mental illness. Everyone is different and what works for some (read: medication) may not work, or be the best option, for others. The topic of medication is one that often gets brought up in mental health conversations. It blows my mind that people look down upon taking medication for a mental illness, but don’t see a problem with taking medication for a physical disease. This open, honest conversation I had tonight (which I loved, by the way) reminded me of a video I saw on Facebook of a person who attempted suicide on the Golden Gate bridge and survived. While telling his story the survivor said, “Suicide, mental illness and addiction are the only diseases that we blame the person for perpetually, but people die from suicide just like they die from any other organ disease,” and this stuck with me. Shaming someone for taking medications or blaming someone for their mental illness is the last thing we should be doing for those who are struggling. Mental illness affects everyone differently and I think that, if an individual has found something that works for them and makes it more bearable to get through the day-to-day, then why should we question that?