Why can’t mental illnesses have the support that physical illnesses have?
Cancer survivors have large events to celebrate their battles. They have ribbons to show what disease form they are fighting. They are seen as brave survivors. They get marches and t-shirts, cozies and adorable bumper sticker slogans. They get to take pride in their battles, even in their losses.
It is not so with mental illnesses.
Instead, we get stigma.
Just got through a battle with major depression?
Keep it to yourself.
They’ll think you’re weak.
Just got out of the hospital after a manic episode?
Don’t let anyone know.
They’ll think you’re crazy.
Just lost a friend to suicide?
Let’s not talk about it.
They’ll think you’re suicidal too.
I want a support network to encourage me to share my battle rather than try to hide it.
I want people to take pride in being a mental illness survivor, day after day, week after week, year after year.
I want people to give mental health issues and illnesses the same treatment that physical ailments and illnesses get.