There’s a Stigma against Mental Illness and it has to be fought.

So it’s been a while since I have written anything and this is down to several things, namely my depression and my general aptitude for being lazy and enjoying boxsets. Seeing as it is a new year, I am going to at least try to get back into the swing of things, I mean most of the shows I watch are in their midseason breaks so….

Anyway, something set me off this week. I mean, something sets me off most weeks with the way the world is right now but this one was a biggie. I had an argument with my flatmate that started over something really insignificant and irrelevant (it was the washing machine if you really want to know!), she barged into my room to scream at me and then she began throwing the insults. Now I can pretty much handle anything people lob at me during an argument but this was the exchange via Whatsapp afterwards.

 

whatsapp-lilla

 

Can you spot what made me mad? No it wasn’t the comment about my love life. Once I find a flat in London that accepts pets, I will be all set for my spinster days with my army of cats anyway. No, my issue was with the crack about my mental health. Now pretty much any of you that know me reasonably well are aware of the struggles I have had with Depression and Anxiety. It’s not a secret because I don’t think it should be. It’s nothing to be ashamed of and I strongly believe that if we talk about these things, people will be less inclined to keep these things secret and suffer in silence. So why am I mad?

Comments like this drive me crazy (Pun totally intended) because they are just reinforcing the stigma and stereotype. It’s one of the reasons so many people are hiding their issues at the bottom of a bottle or in whatever drugs they can get their hands on. This is exactly what people who suffer in silence are afraid of happening. People defining them by their illness. I am not my depression, it just happens to be something that exists within me and makes my life difficult a lot of the time but that does not define me.

Let me state this in plain english:

I am perfectly capable of having an argument or an opinion on something without it being a by-product of my mental illness.

It doesn’t make me insane because I think there is a possibility of other life forms elsewhere in the universe and you disagree.

Humans are human. If I had no mental health issues, I would still be arguing my side of things because that is what we do. We fight. We debate. We campaign. We shout about what we are proud of and what we want to change within our lives and the world in general. We all over react or misunderstand each other occasionally but make no mistake, if you accuse me of doing so because I am Depressed or Anxiety-Ridden then you are part of the problem.

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