It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I write today.
A woman I know, a mother, a wife, a successful business owner, and a beautiful and loving soul has gone to the other side. Mental illness. Suicide.
We were not close, in fact I barely knew her, but my heart aches so much that I feel sick to my stomach.
My heart aches for those who suffer from mental illness, and for those who are close to someone who suffers from mental illness.
The truth is, mental illness is so widespread among people in our society, but yet we seem to know next to nothing about it. I am happy to see that more and more is coming out in social media about it, and that there is more acceptance; however, the information out there is so hard to come by.
As someone who has a mental illness, I can tell you that for years I felt “crazy”. It did not help that in high school I could hear people say “she is crazy” about myself, and others as well. In their defense, this is how I was perceived because to be quite honest, this is how I seemed to be! We are ignorant, but this is not our fault. It is difficult to change peoples mind set when society is so uneducated on the matter.
I hear it all the time as an educator; “too many kids are on medication now a days”, “our food is making kids crazy”, “vaccinations are causing mental illness”, “boys will be boys”, “it’s just a stage”, and so on and so forth. I am not here to put people down for saying these things, rather, I want to bring a different perspective to the matter. Medication is NOT always the answer, however, in certain situations it is EXTREMELY helpful and as someone who has benefited to it, it can literally save someones life. Also, I do not see it as too many kids are being labelled these days and so on…I see it as more awareness is being brought to the attention of medical professionals about mental illness, and this is why we are seeing more children getting the help that most of them need. This is a good thing is it not? I would have loved to have gotten help as a child…but there was simply not enough awareness out there at the time.
There are so many ways that someone can get help, but awareness and acceptance needs to happen. We need to continue sharing our stories with others. What has helped you? How did you know you were suffering from a mental illness? How do you know if someone else is suffering? How can you get help? What can you do when someone needs help but isn’t getting it? There are so many unanswered questions still!
My wish is that we never stop trying to find answers. That we great each other with love, kindness, and acceptance; rather than judgement.
My heart breaks.
Please, lets work together to find some answers and to help others in the process.