Would you say any of these comments to people who were suffering from these “real life” illnesses? I didn’t think so. So, why do we say them to people who suffer from mental illness? In fact, I think they are said so many times that people who suffer from mental illness actually *think* these thoughts to themselves.
I know I do. And I only suffer from anxiety. I consider myself lucky because I can manage pretty well. Regardless, I still say some of these things to myself. I fear telling people about my anxiety because I don’t want to get these types of responses from people. It’s bad enough that I beat myself up. Why do we do this to ourselves?
Like I said, I consider myself lucky. I know people who suffer from much more stigmatized and less understood mental conditions, like Bipolar, Personality disorders, schizophrenia… the list goes on. It’s unfortunate that these serious conditions are not taken seriously by most of society. I can guarantee that anyone who has ever been diagnosed with, or treated for, a mental illness has heard at least one of these comments regarding their behaviour or treatment. If you;ve every said something like this to someone, just know that you aren’t helping. In fact, you’re making it worse. You are part of the problem – not the solution. The sentiment put forth from this cartoon is the reason why mental illness is so stigmatized.
Let’s try and make a positive change.