Mental health awareness week

May 13, 2017
Before we start this post, let's just get a couple of things straight. Do not pretend to be one of those people that doesnt stigmatise against mental health if when this week is over, you are going to go back to making general assumptions about mental health disorders. Secondly, why isn't it mental health awareness week every weak of the year?
When discussing disorders, i think it is important to remember that no two people have the same difficulties and if you know one person with say anxiety then you meet another person with anxiety, do not expect them to find the same things stressful and uncomfortable because everyone has different triggers. 

Mental health disorders isn't sharing Tumblr quotes about loneliness, it isn't feeling sad occasionally, it isn't feeling nervous before a test. It's brutal, devastating and destroying lives daily and you can not pretend that it isn't. 

Also, can we please get rid of the idea that talking about mental health makes you 'attention seeking'? The commonly used example of if you had a broken leg, you wouldn't be fearful to talk about it so why should you be if you have a mental health disorder is the best way to realise how senseless it is to treat mental health as though it isn't something that is making millions of peoples day to day lives incredibly difficult. There is nothing attention seeking about asking for help, yet society has somehow  decided that asking for help is unacceptable and God forbid people need a little helping hand. 

Suicide is the number one killer of men under 45 in the U.K yet people still act as though males are not allowed to have emotions and oh, they are definitely not allowed to express them. While I am writing this, I keep thinking 'how stupid is this? How stupid is it that mental health has been gendered?'. This expectation of men to constantly be strong is not only incredibly demeaning for women as its though we are expected to need a males strength for protection but is also ridiculously pressurising for men who, if they do show a slight sign of struggle, are thought to be stupid. It's ok to need help sometimes. 

It's also so extremely offensive to those who do struggle with mental health disorders when people use a disorder as a way to describe every day problems. For example, 'She's so OCD because she always keeps her room clean' or 'They are sooo bipolar, they always have mood swings'. Look up the definitions of these disorders, educate yourself a little bit then realise that your friend who changed their mood from happy to irritated is probably irritated because of your ignorance (lol throwing shade)

Basically, talk to people about how you feel. Break the stigma surrounding mental health and always let your friends know you are there for them. Don't be afraid to talk to me if you need a friend, we all need a friend. 

Lauryn

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