Fight With Us | #DCfC
Mental illness is a plague in our society that knows no bounds. It cannot be ignored. Pretending it does not exist will not make the diagnoses disappear. It rages on, inflicting its wrath on hundreds of millions worldwide and does not discriminate against age, race, religion, sexual orientation, gender, or income. Despite its overwhelming prevalence, there is a significant lack of funding for research. Treatments and medications are outrageously expensive and those afflicted are often treated as lepers by the rest of society. There are a plethora of diagnoses categorized as mental illnesses but rather than distinguish between them anyone with a mental illness is often labeled as ‘crazy’. This is not a new phenomenon and while there have been vast improvements in regard to societal and medical understanding of mental illnesses in the past fifty years, there is a long road ahead paved with ignorance and stigmas. This must end.
It is human instinct to fear what we do not understand. By spreading awareness and promoting education we give people the knowledge needed to start cultivating compassionate communities with people willing to stand up and fight against the stigmas surrounding mental illness. Social movements throughout history such as the women’s rights movement, the civil rights movement and most recently homosexuals winning their right to marry have proved it. Large numbers of people standing up and speaking out are the only way to begin the process of enacting systemic changes that will protect the human rights of those afflicted.
With May being Mental Health Awareness (#MHA) month, Sidereal Catalyst is honored to be hosting a series of eight incredible guest writers; a new piece will be published every Tuesday and Thursday throughout the month. These brave women and men will be sharing pieces of their lives and their struggles with you as they dare to break their silence and start spreading awareness.
There is no better way to learn about something, whether it is history, art, or human biology than straight from the people who have lived it, created it, or discovered it. The same applies to personal accounts of mental health disorders. Who better to learn from than the people who live with it every day, who deal with the stigmas, go to the doctors, take the medications and go through the treatments? To discount their experiences would be to discount the experiences of any survivor of a life-altering condition. Doctors rely on patient trials of new medications and treatments in determining effectiveness. Without the input from patient’s reactions and symptomatology, progress would be nearly impossible.
It is not easy to discuss your mental illness with the world, to bare your soul knowing it could be beaten and bruised upon exposure, open to commentary from the general public. But we have #hope in our mission this month as well as courage. We have hope in humankind and its ability to adapt, progress and change upon receiving new information. We hope that as people read our stories they will come to understand that we are simply human, and though our struggles may be different they are no less real, no less heartbreaking or debilitating – just different.
Join us and help break the silence surrounding mental health issues. Engage with us. Let us help you understand. Reach out to us, we are listening. Help us bring daylight to a topic that is still clouded with stigma and lack of understanding. Help us promote clarity about the impacts and available treatments for mental health conditions. The more knowledge we share, the more likely we are to effectively combat the taboo which still surrounds mental illness, ultimately enabling safer environments and better access to appropriate support for those in need. As much as we (the afflicted) are doing our best to change the world we live in, we can’t do it without the help and support of everyone around us. We are, as ever, stronger together.
Each piece in this series will be linked on my page Depression: Catalyst for Change and the hashtag #DCfC will be used when sharing on any/all social media. We will also use the hashtags #MHA #breakthesilence and #hope. Please help us advocate for better understanding of mental illness and those affected. Share the pieces in this series on every platform you have at your disposal. Splash them across the internet. Spread the word. Join your voice with ours as we combat the stigmas surrounding these issues – together, we can make change happen.