This was posted on my personal blogs a few months ago, I did a little editing but this is an important issue and I feel it needs to be said.

Why are we so afraid of what we don't understand?  Just try and utter the words "depression" "anxiety" or (whispering) "schizophrenia" in a crowded room and watch people get very uncomfortable.  Come on we live in a world where technology rules all and modern medicine is so evolved that WE have to catch up to IT, and yet we are still resorting to uncomfortable throat clearing and quick subject changes if anything "mental illness" pops up.  No, it needs to be addressed, people need to be educated, then maybe it will become less taboo.

Mental illness is a very real thing and it's usually very chronic, and can be life threatening.  Depression is probably the number one most common mental illness but yet so many people are overheard whispering things like "I don't know why she/he doesn't just snap out of it" or "if you just get out of bed then your depression will go away". Sorry people, that's not how this works.  If we just educate ourselves on the signs and symptoms and worked on being supportive of our loved ones then they would be at a good start to healing.

We can't see it so it must not be real right?  They are just looking for attention.  Take a minute and think of a really bad day you've had recently, we have all had them so it shouldn't be too hard, remember how you felt? Exhausted? Ready to quit the day? Did you just want to be alone? Now imagine waking up every morning to that feeling, only you don't understand why you are so sad.  Add the feeling of an adult sitting on your chest, where it takes energy and effort that you just don't have just to push air in and out of your lungs.  That is anxiety.

Now, what if I whispered "schizophrenia" or more accurately "schitzo-affective" what is the first thought you have after those words?  Are they dangerous? That person hears voices and could go off at any time, they should be locked up.  Chances are you know someone who has been diagnosed with this disease, and the truth is people with this disorder are not dangerous to anyone but themselves.  They need guidance and reminders that the things they hear or see are not real and that they need to take their medication to help them deal with this. The last thing these people need is to be locked away and forgotten. 

The age of modern medicine and technology and we are still reduced to calling out witchcraft and burning them at the stake (metaphorically of course).  Ask someone to describe how it feels to struggle with mental illness every day, go ahead, ask.  The best way learn how to be supportive and get a grasp of what it means to push through every day life with depression or anxiety, or even schizophrenia or bipolar is to ask them to tell you how it feels, I promise, you won't catch anything 😜.

We need to stop hiding behind ignorance and be the rock our loved ones need to get through this.

Mental illness is not taboo, and it definitely is not a dirty word

Published by Liz Zemlicka