Don’t push mental illness under the rug

Our opinion: Take mental health as seriously as physical health. The repercussions mental illnesses like anxiety disorders or depression can have just as big of an impact on someone’s quality of life as physical ailments and should be treated accordingly.

Mental illnesses are far too often misunderstood and stigmatized, even among our generally more accepting generation. There’s a disturbing amount of people who believe those with mental illnesses can “snap out of it” or “just get over it”, when that’s not the case. Depression is not a phase of “just being sad” and anxiety is not simply defined as “being worried a lot.” Obsessive compulsive disorder is not the same as liking things to be organized and panic attacks are not just short periods of intense stress.

These are real disorders with real symptoms. It’s about time that society believes the stigmas surrounding these disorders are a real problem, too. 

This is not to say that people don’t feel sad or anxious, but using medical terms out of context belittles the experiences of people with diagnosed mental health disorders. 

Think about telling someone with bronchitis or a stomach ulcer to “snap out of it.” Sounds ridiculous, right? It’s just as ridiculous to use these phrases with mental illness. Just because you can’t always see the illness doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 

It’s important to take time to research various mental illnesses because you will encounter someone who has one (or multiple).

Even if someone doesn’t struggle with a mental illness, chances are they know or will know someone who has, and they should be prepared to help them. You never know who is struggling, so making even off-hand remarks about mental illness can make people who are silently struggling feel more ashamed of an illness they can’t control.

In order to change the stigmas behind mental illnesses, we as a society have to take control of the situation and educate ourselves, otherwise the ignorance will continue and nothing will ever change. 

Comments

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