I found this infographic that I found extremely interesting and thought you may as well. I got it from a site called Mind for a Better Mental Health that has a lot of interesting tidbits and good reads for those of you suffering from mental health issues, or for those of you who know people who are. When you have a chance hop on over and check them out!
If you’re like me, you have suffered from mental health problems and have had to deal with a few of these issues. The ones I’ve had to deal with is discrimination from society and discrimination at the workplace. I’ve not spoken out for fear of being judged, because the truth is that as much as you would like to say that someone is brave for “coming out” to the public about their problem, the public (society) is just not as ready for this as they seem to believe on an individual basis.
Think about it this way. If you were walking down the street and you saw a blind man with a cane, would you avoid him because you are fearful or disgusted? More than likely you’d just make sure to walk out of the way so that he can continue on his unhindered. If you saw a person in a wheelchair having difficulty would you not stop and help them? (I hope you would anyways!) Or would you at least walk a little slower in the case they ask you for help? More than likely so.
Let me ask you one more question. Ready? If you saw a person walking towards you on the road, crying or wailing and muttering or talking to themself. What would your reaction be? More people than not would either rush by, turn away or mutter or laugh at the person in question.
It is still an illness. It is still treatable. I’m not telling you to put yourself in danger, but perhaps put yourself just out of your comfort zone and help that person in any way you can in the same manner that you would help someone who is visibly ill.
This is one reason I consider mental health to be part of the “invisible illnesses” and part of the “chronic diseases”, because all these people who don’t “look sick” suffer the same prejudice on the streets and in the workplace as someone with a mental health disease. We are all human and susceptible to illness, so we should all ACT human and try to help the fallen, wounded, hurt and disturbed.
This is why overcoming the stigma of mental illness and other invisible illnesses is SO important – to remind society what it is to be human, to reduce the fear of the unknown, to educate the masses and to make the invisible unknown into a visible known creature that we do not shy away from.
This is one reason I beg people to tell their stories from the heart for my Mental Health Mondays series. I mean, I understand that not everyone is willing and able to talk about it, but those who are are assisting to make this invisible illness visible and are helping society to understand a bit more of what they are going through so that others can relate and the fear can be dispelled. If you are ready and able and willing to tell your story on Bewildered Bug through Mental Health Mondays, please feel free to email me at email@example.com or tweet me (@bewilderedbug) for more information and to schedule your story.
My biggest fear right now for myself with regards to my mental illness is that when I re-enter the workplace, I have to explain why I have not worked for a year. There is no way that I would be able to tell an employer that I was treating myself for Major depression, Dysthymia and Anxiety. Would you hire me? The infographic above says no unless you are that 1/5 of employers that understand and sympathize.
How do you think we can get over this hurdle? The worst thing to do to someone with a mental illness is to stop them from living a full life by denying them the normal social requirements – a safe home, a comfortable community and a feeling of being worthy at some sort of occupation.
Society, as it is now, has set up those with mental illness to fail. Help us change that, even if it’s just offering someone a shoulder to cry on.