Friday, September 17, 2021

The Stigma

  Have you ever tried opening up to someone only to be told it’s not that bad, that you are being dramatic? Have you ever been told that you are overreacting? Have you ever been dismissed when trying to be honest about your feelings? Have you ever been told to just get over it, or that your depression isn’t real? Have you ever been called crazy for stating how you feel or what you are experiencing?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then you have been a victim to the stigma of mental health. The stigma of mental health is very much real and alive today. We need people to realize that mental health and mental illness are just as real as infections and viruses. Just because they can’t see it doesn’t mean it’s not someone else's reality. 

This also goes for caretakers, support persons. They face the stigma just as much as we do. Which can lead to a strain on their own mental health. Constantly defending someone and themselves. Society can be cruel and unforgiving.

We need more voices to fight this fight. We need to be heard. Just because people think it’s “in our head” doesn’t mean we can’t stand up for ourselves. Make people uncomfortable. Eventually people will listen. The more we voice what’s going on within ourselves, the more we get our voices out there, the more likely people will start to listen.

People can’t understand what we are going through if we don’t openly talk about our struggles. Books and research can only explain so much. TV shows and movies only show the worst of the worst. Only we can truly explain what we go through on a daily basis. Only we can help others understand how it’s not just in our heads.

MY hope is that I at least reach one person. Whether it be someone knowing that they aren’t alone or helping someone understand just a little bit more what their family member or friend is going through. MY dream is to have my voice help end the stigma of mental health. MY goal is to help people, including myself. No one should be scared to admit they need help.

If you feel you are in crisis, reach out to a family member or friend. If you are too embarrassed, reach out to your doctor. Also try the Crisis Text Line, just text HOME to 741741. You can also reach out to me on here, or the Facebook page Escaping the Stigma.

If you feel suicidal, reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255, or the Lifeline Chat at

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