People Don’t Tend To Be Burned Alive

In tonight’s #TopicsToDiscuss we started the conversation with a question: What would you like to change about the way people view Mental Illness? In short, the answer is A LOT! And here are just a few of the ones they mentioned

  • It isn’t contagious
  • It doesn’t come with an off switch
  •  It doesn’t necessarily lead to violence
  • The idea that we can all “think ourselves better” should be forgotten
  • For people to view MI as an ACTUAL illness,
  • It’s not something that you choose to have/not to have
  • Think from the patient’s point of view
  • Accept that we are not pretending for attention
  • That there isn’t “something wrong” with me

These are but a few of the many stigmas we face on a daily bases. One of our followers commented “I hope as medicine progresses and you can see more physical evidence of mental illness people will be more accepting.” There has been a lot of progress over the years but it is clear that there is still a really long way to go before we can live in a judgement free world…

So we asked our followers if they have been noticing the positive changes surrounding mental illness and this is where the conversation went:

  • That openness and acceptance that you find in true friends who are willing to understand is more frequent
  • People aren’t simply locked up
  • Electro Shock therapy is not as cruel any more
  • When you go into a mental institution, they don’t through away the key
  • More people are talking about it
  • Social Media is giving us a platform to connect

And like one of our followers pointed out: “In the modern world mentally ill people don’t tend to be burned alive, so I’d say that’s progress” Yeah, I know it’s not much… but it is a start! It is a point where we can at least say “It is better” instead of always just holding on to the phrase “It gets better”. Yes, this is just the tip of the iceberg and there is still a lot of work to be done before we can celebrate… but at least for a moment, we need to stop and remember that it is already better.

We cannot allow ourselves to get so caught up in the things that frustrate us that we block ourselves off from the things that bring us hope.  We asked our followers what they would keep about the view that the world currently has of mental illness. There weren’t a lot…

  • I want to keep people who listen, who don’t judge
  • I want to keep the way social media is opening up communication
  • I want to keep the moments when someone understands that I don’t even understand it

Compared to the things we want to get rid of, the ones we want to keep seem miniscule but if you weigh them up, one moment of understanding can remove 10 moments of pain and judgement. Of course we can’t sit back and pretend that it’s all good right now or that it will get better by itself, it is up to us. So often we get caught up in what we cannot do or how many people still sit back in ignorance and judge us that we forget how powerful we are. We forget that we are not alone and that we have the power to make a difference. And not just any difference, THE DIFFERENCE. We get to be the difference we want to see in the world; we get to educate those around us and teach them to be more tolerable through open conversations.

As always, thank you to everyone who took the time to join our discussion and open up about these issues. We appreciate you more than you will ever know.

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