There is a serious problem in the world today. Well, there are a lot. But the one I would like to address is how we react to mental illnesses. How many people out in the world react to hearing of a mental illness with negativity? There are a lot more than will admit to discrimination.
It is a terrible thing to discriminate against anyone for a lot of the things that are stigmatized, such as race, creed, mental illnesses or personality traits. Many people struggle with such discriminations everyday. We as humans should have learned by now that we are all the same, but we haven’t. How many of us with mental illnesses have withheld that information from people, even friends or family, for fear of discrimination? I know I have. And I know many who do. I have had many people ask me what is wrong with me, or wonder why I can’t leave the house some days. My answer is usually that I have a headache, a killer migraine, and I can’t leave the house. Why? Why do we tend to make excuses for our actions, or lack thereof? Because of the reactions.
I once had someone say to me, ‘Watch out for that person, they are schizophrenic.’ Now how fair is that? That’s like saying ‘Hide your cake, he’s diabetic.’ When people find out I’m on medication, the looks I get are incredible. So many people think mental illnesses or personality traits are ‘all in your head,’ and not literally speaking, but as though we make it up. But people need to realize that mental illnesses and personality traits are real. Just because you do not always see scars, or see those with such illnesses and traits going for surgery, or being told they have three months to live, does not make them any less real.
We need to raise awareness to these issues, and address them with open minds. The best way to start this, in my opinion, is to learn about them. Talk about them. If you know someone with a mental illness or personality trait, talk to them. Don’t discriminate. I’ve seen OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) treated as though it is contagious. I have seriously been asked if bipolar disorder is contagious. Yes, it is, right up there with hiccups.
Racial matters have been an issue almost since the beginning of time, as we developed in our different lands, and it is still an ongoing issue. That goes the same for discriminating against religion or sexual orientation. Look at the discrimination. Now, personality traits and mental illnesses are starting to come out of the closet. So, how do you plan on addressing them?
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