Mental Illness = NOT a Joke

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The word "Joke" with a red line through it

I am going to start this post very directly by saying that mental Illness is not something to joke about.

Mental Illness affects many people daily and there is absolutely no humor in it. It's not funny at all to throw insensitive jokes around and hurt people in so many ways. It is not funny either to reject people suffering from mental illness. Everyone can have mental issues, whether it is chronic stress/depression or complex things like bipolar disorder. I don't know if you have seen in some old movies where when a person suffers from any mental illness, they send that person to some strange mental hospitals with chains and they give them electric shocks. That's a very typical scene and they paint such a dark portrait of mental hospitals and there is so much stigma and fear that people are unwilling to seek help. Added to that, many studies have shown that there is a lack of psychologists in the world and people will think twice before actually going to a psychologist which then becomes too late. This is because our society has put things like "Counseling, pills, therapies.." in a huge black basket called "Mental Illness" with tags like "dark, shame, scary, 'too crazy', dangerous" in bold letters.

When you have flu, you go to a doctor then when something is troubling you or you know that your mental health is not going all okay, then why not go to a psychologist? It's pretty much the same, isn't it? Society is not going to help you when you are fighting with your own mind, but a psychologist is going to. Society should throw that huge black basket and have more open discussions on mental illness. It's fundamental to educate people because people usually fear what they don't understand and tend to reject people with mental illness. In some countries, it’s still a taboo and seeing people suffering from it, is so heartbreaking.

Almost everyone has maybe at some point bumped into a person who may be suffering from a mental issue. It can be chronic stress due to studies, persistent boredom due to work, depression due to loss of a loved one, Post-traumatic stress from an accident or war, or panic attacks since birth but you know what surprising about it is that we know so little about it. People who are suffering from mental problems are not less of a person, they are equally important and special as all of us, they are NOT monsters, they are just human beings like us who need love and acceptance. Research says that love can cure some mental illness so we all have the power to alleviate the pain of someone suffering from mental illness- It's totally free. I agree that there are other complicated issues like split personalities, who require trained psychiatrists and follow-ups in mental hospitals which lead me to my next point which is; making mental hospitals more user-friendly and treating the patients with the same dignity we treat someone with flu.

I am incredibly proud of the VOY community, to all those who had the courage to come up and speak about their mental illness. I won't state any names but I read (and remember) all the posts and if you are reading this, just know that I am so inspired by your courage, your strength, your willpower, your intelligence, your optimism and wish to bring a change, your fighting spirit, and you guys are the real heroes here. You are special in your own way and I'm glad we could connect on VOY and don't let society tear you. J.K Rowling couldn't have written Harry Potter if she wasn't in a depression, and you can use that energy to turn it into something positive and show the world that you are not inferior to anyone. Huge thanks to all those who wrote an article in support of this, it's great to see that the stigma is fading. I may not know how depression feels like but I know that mental illness is not something to joke about and people who go through this must feel welcomed in society.

I am going to put this in very simple English - stop rejecting people with mental illness and stop making it a taboo, let’s talk about it.

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