Stigma, minimization, and dismissiveness of mental illness exist because the agonies of depression, suicidality, intrusive thoughts, delusions, ruminations, addictions, self-harm, hallucinations, anxiety, panic attacks, and other such afflictions are mere abstractions to those who have never suffered them.
Since there aren’t physical and visible symptoms as there are other types of illnesses, many people tend to view mental illnesses with skepticism or cynicism, perhaps thinking a person with mental illness is a malingerer, an attention seeker, a social deviant, or simply weird.
If those of us with mental illnesses did exhibit physical manifestations that accurately depicted our suffering, decent human beings who currently drink the cynics’ Kool-Aid would be shocked, concerned, and compassionate.
Many more homeless would have homes Many more incarcerated would be receiving treatment. Much unnecessary suffering would be eliminated.
Unfortunately, we have to play the hand we are dealt and continue educating and demonstrating how painful and debilitating our illnesses are. Hammering away until it becomes a social norm to accept this truth.
#EndStigma #BrainHealth #MentalHealthMatters