The words Mental Illness is not a new phenomena. It has been around for centuries; however, when the word is used it causes many surprised looks especially when a person says “I been diagnosed with a mental illness.” Whether the illness is depression, post traumatic stress disorder, or a personality disorder; reactions from those who do not understand are mostly the same. Then comes the stigma against the person who has the illness because no one wants to be associated with someone who they stereotype as “crazy.” Question: If you were told that you had an ulcer, diabetes, kidney failure or any other medical condition wouldn’t you go to the doctor to see what could be done to make the condition better? Or think about your body being depleted of a certain vitamin would you not try a supplement and get your body back at a functioning level?
Every part of our bodies were made for certain functions and the brain is no different. It was placed in our bodies to perform certain functions and it can malfunction like any of the other organs. People do not avoid people with cancer but they avoid people who communicate different from them from a mental standpoint. There is a scripture that says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Ghost/Spirit. At my last observation, the brain was still encompassed in the body. Dare we mock our bodies that were created in the image of God because my body does not act like yours?
It is high time that we as a society learn to treat others as we would want to be treated. Before we point a finger at someone else who communicate different from us let us consider ourselves. It could have been us instead of them. Let us educated ourselves about mental illness and be a help and not a hinderance to someone who is hurting. A slogan that the military embrace is it take courage to ask for help. It also take courage to be different from others in society. Like the song , reach out and touch somebody’s hands made this world a better place if you can, reach out today to be a help to someone else because tomorrow it could be you or me…….Annie Clara Brown, Mental Health Therapist