The Stigma of Mental Illness
“Get over it already!”
“Don’t be such a freak!”
“Wow, she’s so bipolar!”
“So you’re sad. Big whoop. Everybody gets sad sometimes.”
“Don’t be so paranoid!”
Those are just a few of the comments people with mental illness hear regularly.
I have had a lifelong battle with mental illness. From age 7 to present, I have at various times been diagnosed with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, severe to moderate clinical depression, Generalized Anxiety Disorder w/ social anxiety, agoraphobia, and depersonalization disorder. Yes, I have been a hot mess!
However, that doesn’t make me crazy, and it doesn’t make me any less of a person than anyone else. Mental illness is no different than any other disease or health impairment. If someone is diagnosed with cancer, you wouldn’t tell them to just pull themselves together and put their big girl panties on, would you?
It makes me angry that so many people are made to feel ashamed of things they have no control over. We never asked to be mentally ill, and it is generally something that can’t be “cured”, only controlled with therapy, meds, etc. However it IS something that can be successfully managed in most cases. We are just like everyone else, and deserve to be treated the same, as well.