mental illness isn't trendy
After not having a job for a few months, I was ready to get back into the habit of not being in my pajamas at 2 p.m. Unlimited Netflix is only so fulfilling, trust me.
This summer I am taking two more classes towards my counseling masters degree as well as starting my job working under a developmental and behavioral pediatrician.
I am constantly surrounded with conversations of mental health, so I knew at some point I would want to write about it.
Right now, I keep typing mental health over and over again in this little text box. mental health, mental health, mental health. How do I write about something so sensitive and complex?
"Mental health" has been a fancy buzz word lately, hasn't it? It has almost become an accessory that people throw out for some hot topic conversation to make themselves sound more interesting.
The phrase "mental health" itself seems like it has snowballed into something so big and so much more complicated. Rolling and rolling and rolling down our media and culture & becoming a giant ball of mess.
The awareness and exposure of the importance of mental health is a good thing, but it is so necessary that we handle these topics with care.
I have seen mental health divide people because they are uninformed.
I have seen mental health issues make people turn their heads and ignore the problems.
I have seen these types of issues become a source of pride and glorified in people's lives.
Let's remember that mental disorders are something that a person has. Not a stamp on who a person is.
Let's remember that a mental disorder is just that, a disorder.
Mental health issues aren't cool.
Mental health issues aren't trendy.
In some circles I've seen it to be "cool" to have a mental illness.
Y'all, mental health issues suck.
Mental health issues are painful, ugly things.
If you have ever been diagnosed with a mental health condition, it is so easy to let that diagnosis take over even a part of your identity.
It can be so easy to accept it as something that we are rather than something to battle.
We can be quick to put our own mental illness on the throne of our lives, and give it more power over us than it already has.
Now please hear me -- I'm not saying that these issues should be swept under the rug and I am not saying that they are not powerful -- I am saying that sometimes we can let our struggle with any of these things debilitate our lives even more when we give it a louder voice to do so.
How we think and talk about mental health changes how it is handled, in our culture and in our lives: that may mean keeping quiet when we are uninformed, that may mean signing up for professional therapy, that also may mean talking about our own illnesses differently.
Let's invest in mental health as more than a hot topic in our society. Let's learn about mental health in a way that helps us love others and ourselves more.
"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid." John 14:27
*I will continue to speak into the complexity of mental health in following posts.