Now I’m pretty sure this blog post is not going to go down well. But hey, it’s my site and reflects my feelings so I’m just gonna write it!
There seems to be a change happening on how mental illness is viewed. And this is a positive change. I’ve been banging on about ending the stigma for a while and encouraging people to talk. It is definitely being discussed more openly now and there are celebrities helping by opening up about their experiences, including the 2 princes.
So why am I bothered by this?
More and more people are admitting they’ve suffered with some form of depression or anxiety at some point in their life. Now don’t get me wrong, I want people to be able to talk, be supported and understood and hopefully get the help they need.
However suddenly the term mental illness is being banded around like it purely means a depressed or sad state that will improve. Mental illness is so much more! I hear people saying “I have a mental illness” when in fact they’ve had a recent rough time and yes are depressed; but with the help they have sought are coming out the other side. I want to scream in their faces, you have no idea what living with a severe mental illness every day of your life is like!
I know I sound harsh and heartless. It is not a competition over who feels more suicidal, I do know that. But it makes my blood boil that I’m suddenly being classed as the same as people who get a bit anxious yet can still function.
People ask why I’m currently not working. I used to get away with I have mental health problems, that shut them up. Now I hear the reply, “yes me too, I get really anxious but that’s not an excuse to not work”!!!! Are you kidding me?!
I don’t know what the answer is. On one side I am definitely happy it’s not as taboo as it was. However if I admitted to people exactly what goes through my mind daily and some of behaviours, there would absolutely be stigma. Anyone close to me start to worry, my every movement is monitored and I’m effectively put on suicide watch.
I think that admitting you have depression or anxiety is now more socially acceptable to the world yet understanding diagnoses like borderline personality disorder is still a long way off.