You know the old joke “how can you tell who is a marathoner/CrossFitter/vegan/new mom? Don’t worry, she’ll tell you”? It gets chuckles and eye rolls and sometimes a nod of acknowledgement. Why? Because there is no shame/stigma/humiliation attached to being a marathoner/CrossFitter/vegan/new mom. These are things everyone feels comfortable sharing, and whether we appreciate the accomplishment, or not, we do not feel uncomfortable being told.
Have you ever heard the one “how can you tell who is suffering from mental illness? Don’t worry, she’ll tell you!”? I haven’t, and I can tell you why – because not producing the correct amount of serotonin is seen as a failing. We are embarrassed, we are scared to share, we hide it from the world. Which is funny, in its own way, because, honestly? Can anyone “control” how much or how little hormone of any sort is released into any part of their body? Do you mentally determine how much melatonin you will naturally secrete at bedtime? Do you plan for your dopamine to surge? Have you ever sat at your desk and arbitrarily selected to release a certain dose of adrenaline? If so, congratulations!! You are a medical miracle!! If not, then does that make you a failure?
I don’t think so. Just like I do not think that needing medication to allow my body to function is a failure. The day when a mentally ill person can say “I can’t come because my anxiety will not let me leave my house”, the same way that a person with the flu can say “I can’t come, because I have the flu”, without fear of isolation, humiliation, or stigmatization, will be a fantastic one.
You would be amazed how much talking about it can help. #BellLetsTalk #semicolontattoo #semicolonproject #mentalhealth #mentalhealthawareness #survivor #survive #thrive #tattoo #depression #anxiety #speak #support #love #kalidesautelsreads #kalidesautelswrites #blog #blogger
Bell Let’s Talk Day – Clara Hughes