Mental Illness Isn't A Character From A Film

This week I’ve been thinking a lot about mental health, mine, my families, my ancestors, my friends and I’ve come up with one main observation, everyone has dealt with mental health issues.

Sometime you watch a film and you hear about a clinical diagnosis, “bipolar” “personality disorder” “addict” and the character on the show is how you learn about that diagnosis, the problem is that more often then not it is either a joke (silly exaggeration of truth) or its dark (a cruel depiction of an illness that has a huge spectrum).

This post is to act as a reminder that we are all people.

A diagnosis does not define a person, just like a person living with diabetes or cancer shouldn’t be defined by their illness. When I sit and talk to my friends that have lived through being suicidal moment and who work hard daily to be healthy and happy, I think to myself“Where would they be if people treated them like the characters in movies?”. And I think how blessed I am that they are open to sharing their story with me, because to be vulnerable and host about the struggle of their illness in a world that can be so judgmental and lacking in patience is so brave.

To stay in a healthy headspace can take a lot of work, here is a list I’ve collect from many people who live with mental health issues: 

  • Time with nature
  • Time with animals
  • Meditation
  • Fitness (some need calming like yoga others need to run or do HITT)
  • Friend/Family time
  • Quiet time
  • Essential oils
  • A Bath
  • More Meditation
  • Prayer
  • Therapy
  • 12 Step meetings
  • A job that is solitary
  • A job that is around people
  • Special diet (lots take out gluten, sugar & dairy)

Take time to understand a illness more before you assume they are like a character in a movie or a stereotype. Give a friend a call if you haven’t heard from them, sometimes the best way to help someone having a bad day is to be there and listen.