You break a leg, you go to A&E and you get a cast. You fracture your finger, you get a splint. You have cancer and you get treated accordingly.
But what if you have mental health illness?
Although there are several organisations who work tirelessly to break the stigmas attached to mental health, there is still a big problem. Too many people are suffering either in silence or at the end of a long waiting list. People are self-harming, committing suicide and are living in for lack of a better word “hell”. Still although research has shown that depression can affect people in a plethora of ways, we still expect those who suffer to just “cheer up” or “suck it up” and continue through life as normal.
I last year was this person. Suffering in silence until the torment of my own mind caused me to reach out for help, only to be met with over subscriptions within our Health Service. I say this today to bring attention to the many others out there suffering with this invisible disease. It is very real. Just because you cannot see what’s going on within someones mind, doesn’t lessen the significance of their pain. The next time someone makes a call for help however subtle it is, take notice, show support. Listen. You never know how close someone is to their edge and your dismissal of their cry may just push them off.
Not all illnesses are seen
Miseducation, Misinformation stagmas and stereotypes often prevent people from getting the help that they need. Avoid judging people based on stereotypes. In reality a label tells us very little about a person and what they might be going through. They do not tell us about his or her capability for friendship and creativity. The do not tell us about their capability for achievement. They certainly do not tell us that a person is weak, violent, unintelligent or a poor worker. It’s important to treat people affected by mental illness as people. Learn more about the issues, support people you know with mental health illness and remember that great hope exists for the recovery of those who are affected. Mental Health Illness has no face.
If you are suffering right now, I want you to know that:
This is not how your story ends;
Written By Steve Whyte
Originally published at medium.com