It’s always been sort of taboo to talk about mental health for some reason, but really, it’s more important to talk about your mental health now more than ever so don’t wait to have that conversation.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders are the most common form of mental illness in America with over 40 million adults being affected by them every year. They also report that 264 million people suffer from depression worldwide. That sounds like a lot of people, right? Then why do we always feel alone in these struggles?
I’ve personally had to deal with depression and anxiety since I was in middle school and I remember feeling like no one had any idea what it was like dealing with those thoughts and feelings every day. I had started seeing a therapist then too and would continue to see them for a few years, but even then I always had this hesitation to fully open up about everything I was going through.
We’ve always heard the phrase “fake it till you make it” and I think a lot of us try to live that way sometimes in order to avoid any awkward conversations, but in reality, that phrase has become a problematic practice for many because now people feel like they do have to hide what they are going through resulting in their mental health getting even more deteriorated.
Piers Morgan recently came out and said that he didn’t believe the comments that Megan Markle made about her own struggles with her mental health during an interview with Oprah, even doubling down on Twitter days later saying that after thinking about it some more, he still didn’t believe her. There are a lot of angry and explicit words that I want to say to him, but instead, I want to tell him and anyone else who doesn’t believe in the struggles of mental health to do your research and be better. Just because you haven’t gone through something doesn’t mean the person next to you can’t.
I held a lot of resentment towards my dad when I was struggling the most because he didn’t understand what I was going through or how I had gotten to that point, but I came to realize that there’s no way he could understand. How is someone supposed to understand how depression, anxiety, or any other forms of mental illness works if we’re never taught about it and feel like we can’t talk about it. My dad wasn’t trying to not understand me, he just didn’t know where to start.
I think that we have taken a big step towards normalizing those conversations with the help of celebrities as they’ve been more willing to open up about their struggles in recent years to help jumpstart those conversations, but then you see comments like those made by Piers Morgan and it shows just how much further we have to go until it’s normalized.
I’ve always found it easier to talk to people I may not know as well about my struggles so if anyone also feels that way and needs someone to talk to, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or anyone you know is having their own battles going on right now, be there for them and let them know about the resources available to them to help make their battles easier. Just know that you’re not alone even if it may feel like it in the moment.
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255