I am a lucky person.
I have bipolar syndrome, and while it impairs my ability to hold a steady job (it’s why I freelance) I am still able to be a productive member of society. I’m proud of this. There are so many of us with disabilities that can’t, and part of that is because they can’t get treatment.
I consider myself an advocate for them…for us. There’s such a stigma around mental illness, and there shouldn’t be. It keeps people from getting the help that they need, and they suffer in silence. No one should have to suffer when there is treatment, and not because they’re afraid of what the world will think of them.
How many people suffer from PTSD and don’t get help? How about Depression? Anxiety? Drug and Alcohol Addiction? Borderline Personality Disorder? Rage Tendencies? We can help them if we allow them to speak up.
I was once homeless, sleeping in my car and on friends’ couches, staying up at night writing at diners. If it wasn’t for the Mental Health Association of Rockland County, I don’t know where i’d be. Thankfully they exist. I was lucky, but there isn’t enough help out there for everyone that needs it.
We need help. From you. From the government. From somebody! Think about how society would change if we treated all the mentally ill. Less homelessness, less addiction, more productive members of society. A better society.
That’s all anyone wants. Happiness. It’s elusive, slippery, but for some, completely unattainable. We can change that.
Speak up. Be heard. Don’t let the stigma keep you from getting treatment. And if you are perpetuating the stigma, realize that you are hurting–potentially killing–others, maybe even people you know.
If you need help:
Substance Abuse and Mental Health Administration (SAMHA)