I haven’t realized how much mental illness affected people until I started paying attention and noticed that there were some people who were not here mentally, while appearing to be here physically. We live in a world where we are constantly stimulated and distracted by our environments everyday, making it hard to pay attention to those who may be suffering mentally and need help.
Mental illness is a serious issue that needs to be discussed and tackled. Since its symptoms may not be seen in most cases, many people tend to ignore it, which is dangerous. We only notice the ones who have gone completely insane and can’t function, while ignoring it on those who are able to function. These are people who may have successful and stable careers, their own businesses, etc. but are also suffering. The problem tends to be in our denial that mental illnesses exist, therefore we don’t give it much room to exist. We only acknowledge it when it’s in an extreme form.
This issue needs to be tackled especially in immigrant, black and minority communities. Since we face harsher life styles and are in hostile environments, mental illnesses can be significant in our communities. Our inability to acknowledge its existence makes it difficult to seek help ourselves or help our loved ones who maybe suffering from it. I come from a community where mental illness is seen as a condition that can be solved through prayers and spirituality. Although I am a firm believer of prayer and healing, there needs to be more to mental illness than the usual “prayer” response we receive from many in our communities in reference to it. There needs to be more talk about therapy for those who may need it, we need to be more open about accepting medication as a means to treat mental illness for those who may need it, we need to break the cycle of not acknowledging mental illness when it’s in a form that we can’t see, we need to be more open to understanding people and seeing that they maybe suffering and need help, we need to break the taboo and talk about it, we need to do more to heal ourselves and our communities and that starts with acknowledging conditions that exist in our communities, instead of ignoring them.
If you are someone who think you may be suffering from mental illness, please seek help as soon as possible. There are those who are willing to hear your journey and your suffering, be more open about it and be open to alternatives like therapy and medication on top of the prayer you are doing. Talk to medical professionals. Talk to others about it. I hope you heal.
Peace and Love,