How Making Mental Health More Relatable Has Hurt the Cause

As I have discussed in my earlier blogs mental health is hard to talk about. You fear judgement, you feel desperate and isolation becomes an overbearing weight. Sadly we fear that “no one will ever understand”. While I think it is important to make mental health more understandable to those who do not suffer from it I believe we have to make sure the pendulum does not swing to far.

Depression has changed to being sad, anxiety is now being nervous. I can tell you from experience being depressed is not like being sad, I rarely cry or show any emotion while I am depressed. I lose joy in all things, I sit in my bed watching a show I do not care about, scrolling through social media that leaves nothing but blank prints on my mind. Anxiety is not feeling nervous for an upcoming test, anxiety is a pit that makes you sick to your stomach while you spend a beautiful day with the people you care most about. Without understanding these differences we cannot help those truly suffering.

What makes me saddest and why I wrote this blog is because I believe the mental health awareness has stopped at this point because it is much harder to relate schizophrenia, bi- polar disorder, PTSD ect to everyday feelings. This is all to obvious when Kayne West has his manic episodes on twitter. Everyone in hopes to go viral off of kicking a famous person when they are down.

The thing is I do not really blame the people who are making these jokes. A few years ago I may have done the same thing. “Kayne is crazy, maybe he started taking drugs, or the pressure got to him” is what I would tell myself as I snickered and clicked *send tweet*. Without realizing how unbelievably offensive this was to anyone suffering from bi-polar disorder. Without directly helping someone who is suffering from a manic episode or deep research in the topic it is almost impossible to understand it. While some TV shows do a pretty spectacular job portraying the illness, seeing someone you love suffer from it is a much different emotion than a television show could ever hope to reproduce.

All I ask, is be kind, listen before making jokes. Make jokes about yourself before joking about anyone else. Do you research, take time to educate yourself, having knowledge and a plan if you ever run into a serious mental health crisis is well worth the time you put into it.

Keep on Keeping on,

NB

One thought on “How Making Mental Health More Relatable Has Hurt the Cause

  1. Nice words my friend! Those who have been through it, are going through it or have a professional background and years of study in understanding the human condition are the ones that we need to listen to. Those who don’t know what it is to have depression, anxiety disorder, PTSD or any other major mental illness should listen compassionately and try to understand what they do not. It is too easy to make jokes about things that make us uncomfortable instead of really engaging with those who are struggling to keep their heads above water. Thanks for being part of the good fight!

    Like

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