Why is it we continue to stigmatize mental illness? And I’m not just talking about the homeless person on the streets. I’m sure many of us know of some who is mentally ill. The returning soldier suffering with PTSD. The individual who suffers chronic pain which leads to depression and perhaps dependence upon pain meds or worse – heroin. The person who was sexually abused as a child and now suffers with depression, anxiety, and shame. The neighbor who suffers quietly with bipolar because he or she is afraid to speak of it. People are afraid to talk because we have become comfortable casting judgment on anyone who is different than we are. If an issue does not touch us personally we don’t want to look at it, but if we looked at it and talk about it, more people would come forward and get the help they need. They would no longer hide in shame. The illness could be dealt with instead of seeping out into society in maladaptive ways. Can we have more empathy for others and not only when a Hollywood celebrity dies as result of their illness?
Deb Correia 4/12/2015 ©