Have you ever wondered what it would be like if people treated physical illnesses in the same way that many people treat mental illnesses? Take a look at the image below:
Imagine you were in any of the above situations and the response to your ailment was, “You just need to change your frame of mind,” or “You should just think positive if you want to feel better,” or “We all have problems in life.”
A response like this would seem cold, cruel and insensitive, not to mention socially crude. Yet this is so often the type of “help” that people diagnosed with mental illnesses have to confront on a daily basis.
As with most mental diseases, the causes are often unknown and due to this lack of deep understanding, the social callous arises. Mental illness is still so misunderstood and this can be easily construed by the way in which society react to physical and mental illness. Many people believe that the sufferer is to blame for their mental health issues. That they are in control of their affliction and so can easily reverse it. This can lead to insensitive or uneducated statements such as “Just eat? It’s not that hard.”
Too often sufferers feel the need to ‘show’ their poor mental health physically, just for people to see and notice that they are struggling. Whether that is through means of crying, drinking, cutting or starving, it can feel like no one takes any notice until a physical issue can be seen.
The negligence towards ones mental health illness can cause a multitude of negative feelings and self-abhorrent thoughts. It can leave feelings of neglect and rejection, and thoughts that you can’t be that ill or that you must be exaggerating things as no one seems to take any notice.
When going through recovery from a mental health problem, it’s so important to have the support and appreciation of those around you.
Just knowing that there are people out there who acknowledge your struggles and acknowledge that it takes huge amounts of hard work and effort over a long period of time to make small differences, can make an individual feel as though they are worthy enough to recover. That they are not invisible. That their problems do matter. And most importantly, that there is no need for further mental and/or physical deterioration to be taken seriously.