Why aren’t we talking about Mental Health?

~This post was inspired mostly by a video (on Facebook of all things) by ATTN. What if we talked about physical health the absurd way we talk about mental health. https://www.facebook.com/attn/videos/1391599620875493/?pnref=story ~

Mental Health. Simply put, it’s just the state of our psychological and emotional well-being. While some people have a great emotional state, others, like myself, don’t. Mental health is like physical health and should be treated the same. You don’t tell someone with a broken leg to just get up and walk, so why do we tell people with depression to just be happy? Why do we tell people with anxiety to just not worry?

Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and 90% of those had a mental illness.

Between the ages of 10 and 24, however, suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death.

1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experience mental illness in a year. And those are just ones you hear about.

With these facts, why don’t I hear more about mental illness? I am 19 years old, and I never learned about mental health issues until I was struggling with one. Depression, anxiety, bipolar, all these things were only muttered in jokes. “Gosh, I’m so bipolar sometimes.” “This is giving me OCD.” I never thought about people who actually had these mental illnesses. I never heard anything about them. I heard about physical issues, cancer, strokes, heart attacks. Those were said aloud. “She is battling cancer.” But not once did anyone mention someone who was battling depression. Even now, I feel that if I’m not searching for something about mental illness, I don’t see it. I just learned, at the end of the month, that May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Why hadn’t I heard about this? Why is no one saying anything? Why don’t we teach about this?

So little people know how to deal with people who are struggling. We find it so easy to learn about physical issues, but no one seems to want to learn about the mental problems. Not everyone needs to be a pro, but there are just some things that I feel we should know.

Why do we know that “Stayin’ Alive” is the beat for CPR, but not the breathing techniques for panic attacks?

We know what to eat and drink if we have the flu, but we don’t know how to talk to people when they have an eating disorder.

Why is it normal to go to therapy for a hurt leg, but not for issues like depression?

We take people to the doctor when they need stitches, but people ignore the scars that are self inflicted.

No one wants to talk about mental issues, but why? Are they not sick? Do the sick not need a doctor?

So what’s my main point here? I believe that mental illness is an issue that needs to be taught. We need to learn basics about different mental illnesses. To learn that it’s not something you have to hide. Why would you tell someone your problem, if they are just going to tell you that you need to stop exaggerating, to fix it yourself. Mental health is important. 

So one last thing. I have one question for you…

Why are people strong when they fight cancer, or survive a heart attack, but we don’t say the same about those fighting a mental illness?

~Charlie Pond~


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