Tag Archives: suicide

If All Illness Was Treated As Mental Illness Is

If all illness was treated as mental illness is; with prejudice, with lack of empathy, with frustration and fear, how very sad and lonely this world would be.

We’d have T.V shows that make freak show spectacles of sick people. Perhaps we’d have one for people with arthritis and call it “Shakers.” Or one for men with prostate cancer called “Urinators.” How about one for those with A.L.S called “My Strange Condition”? ┬áJust like in the real shows, “Hoarders” and “My Strange Addiction”, the audience would sit back and laugh, judge, be entertained by the suffering of others.

Similarily to when some call those with mental illness “psycho” and “crazy”, they’d call people with cancer “mutants” and those who have suffered strokes “deformed”.

They would have the same level of insensitivity for those entering palliative care as they do for those entering psychiatric care, and say they were sent to the “death house” and the “nut house”, respectively.

If someone were to splurge and eat too much sugar, they’d say “go inject yourself with insulin ” the same way they tell people who are upset to “take a pill”.

If all illness was treated as mental illness is, we’d have a hard time believing that anyone actually gets sick. We’d accuse them of seeking attention, of being weak, of making excuses.

We’d yell with frustration at someone with multiple sclerosis, “Just stop sitting in your wheelchair and walk!”

We’d roll our eyes if someone called in sick for the flu. We’d whisper to each other that they need to toughen up. Suck it up. And if this person with the “flu” was a man, our reaction would be even stronger. We would think he was downright pathetic.

If all illness was treated like mental illness is, we’d be baffled every day by deaths we just didn’t see coming. After living months, or years hiding symptoms, pretending they didn’t feel pain, loved ones would succumb to suffering we likely would not have been able to handle or understand anyway.

Not long after their passing, we’d start making comments about how selfish they had been. How could they do this to us? How could they just up and die like that?

If all illness was treated as mental illness is, how (even more) sad, lonely, cruel this world would be.

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Thank you so much for reading.

Be Brave, and Talk

Suck it Up

“There’s nothing wrong with you. You don’t need counselling. You just need to start eating. Stop being so stupid. ”

“Yeah, he’s on stress leave. Pathetic.”

“Maybe you should stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

“If she’s not going to call us back, whatever, forget her. I don’t care if she’s depressed, calling someone back is pretty simple. She needs to stop making lame excuses.”

“You’re doing this to yourself. Stop being so negative.”

“I’ve been through worse in my life, but I’m not depressed. It’s life, you just accept it. Suck it up.”

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This moment, countless people suffering mental illness are hearing these kinds of statements. Perhaps this makes them feel like it’s their fault. Perhaps they feel weak. Perhaps they feel guilty. Perhaps they feel inadequate.

Definitely they no longer feel comfortable talking.

Talking is the most affective way a person with mental illness can help themselves.

Talking is their best hope.

Stigma steals that away.

Mental illness is real. It gets diagnosed by doctors, just like diabetes, asthma, the flu.
Mental illness can destroy relationships and families.
Mental illness can leave a person living on the streets.
Mental illness can kill.
Yes, mental illness can kill.
Technically I suppose, suicide is a choice a person makes. But it’s a choice they make because the inner torment they suffer is too much, and they see no other escape. Suicide is a symptom of mental illness.
Suicide is a symptom of complete isolation.

Isolation made far worse by stigma.

“You’re doing this to yourself.”

“Stop being so negative.”

“Suck it up.”

Nobody would ever dream of saying this to someone with cancer. Why do so many of us think it’s okay to speak like that to someone with mental illness?

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“How are you feeling today?”

“You are so strong for fighting this battle.”

“He’s on stress leave. It must be really bad. I can’t imagine what he’s going through.”

“It’s okay to cry. I’m here for you. Im here to listen if you’d like.”

“I believe you. I also believe you can beat this.”

“Don’t give up.”

These are the kind of words that fight stigma.

These are the kind of words that give hope.

These are the kind of words that can save lives.

Thanks for reading!
Be Brave and Talk
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