What Does Mental Health Look Like?
There are many societal stigmas around mental health and it’s careless depiction as a crazy phenomenon. The idea is that people with mental illness challenges are solely identified by erratic behavior, sluggish moods, and messy appearance. This is completely stereotypical and outdated. The opinions of the uninformed masses have taught us very little about how to cope with the illnesses that arise throughout our journey. Those suffering, face detriment in various ways including the loss of peace, sanity, and in extreme cases, whether we desire to live or die. As Western culture progresses, we see society becoming more accepting to trends like veganism and freedom of speech, however the views on mental health has been stagnant. It’s as though being vulnerable enough to speak about physical aliments we suffer with but avoid conversations of depression, anxiety, and thoughts of suicide. People act as if physical and mental issues are separate matters, but the mind is part of the body, isn’t it? So is it we feel the need to hide the parts of us that make up who we truly are? People who suffer with mental illness shouldn’t have to feel like they’re alone or have to put on some mask everyday for the sake of society’s emotions. We cannot and will not apologize for making you feel uncomfortable with the parts of us we have little to no control over. In 2019, those who are suffering needs to know that it’s okay to throw away the poker face and genuinely feel those emotions even if they don’t make sense to you. For those on the outside looking, you need to know that mentally ill people don’t act or look a certain way. The face of mental illness has changed. We are children, we are rich, we are poor, we are degreed, we look like you, and we are suffering! In an effort to break this cycle, we’re choosing to speak up about everyday experiences in hopes to cause a ripple affect in societal norms. Most of us don’t know we’re suffering from a mental ailment because we don’t fit in the bubble of what society thinks mental illness is suppose to look like.