I was hesitant to release a blog this week as I don't want to take away from the incredible unity that we are seeing all across the world in regards to what is now the largest civil rights movement in the history of our planet Earth.
All of that being said, it got me thinking about just how important it is to speak up and have a voice. I am of personal belief that the world is straight-up a shitty place. However, that's not to say that no good can come from it. We have so much power to unite as we are seeing at this very moment.
Two Types Of Stigma
Public Stigma - Social stigma or public stigma however you'd like to name it, is exactly what it sounds like. A misperceived notion of negative stereotypes to those struggling with an array of mental health issues. These 'labels' are often associated with being different or something being wrong with you. It makes you feel more as a subject than a person.
Self Stigma - Sometimes due to the former, it is when we internalize our negative stereotypes. Believing them to be the truth. We think there is something wrong with us because we are struggling. That couldn't be farther from the truth. We are often concerned with how others will see us, whether it be embarrassment or fear it can often lead to more problems down the road.
I've said it before in a similar article about coming out about your mental health and I'll keep saying it. There is no weakness in opening up. It is quite simply the opposite. There is so much strength in seeking help and reaching out. It shows courage and strength.
At the root of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg, or your brain, it's still an illness, and there should be no distinction. - Michelle Obama
With all of that being said, I'd be lying if I said right now in 2020 we haven't come a long way. Truth is we have. I didn't even know I had anxiety and depression growing up that's how little knowledge there was surrounding the topic.
It is said that nearly 1 in 5 Canadians are impacted by some sort of mental health problem each year. That is 20% of our country. (Quick math I know) Yet it still isn't widely accepted by all.
What Can We Do?
Firstly, we just need to keep speaking up and let our stories be heard. The more we speak out, the more that will be heard. I think the best thing to do is to be educated! If it were up to me there would be courses in schools devoted to educating students about the importance and acceptance of mental health. The less ignorance the better. Even in the workplace. I'm sure it's even tougher for the older generations to open up and talk about their issues. Not because they are ignorant but they grew up in times where this wasn't much of a topic. We must accept, be there and look out for one another.
You are not your illness. You have an individual story to tell. You have a name, a history, a personality. Staying yourself is part of the battle. - Julian Seifter
I know this blog wasn't the same length as my usual ones. Apologies for that, it was just something that came to mind whilst seeing all the great we can do when united.
- Thinking Mans Thoughts
I've created a Patreon for anyone who wants to help and support this journey I'm on. This isn’t about money nor will it ever be. I plan to blog as long as I have thoughts running through my head and stories to tell, but I’d be lying if I said it doesn’t help me in my situation. All support is appreciated but not mandatory. It's very awkward 'asking' for money especially when I don’t want it to come across like that is my intention.
If you've read all of that and still choose to support me, I will forever appreciate it