This week is Mental Illness Awareness Week. As someone who has dealt with both depression and anxiety for more than 12 years now, awareness is so important. Thankfully, more people are aware than every before, as they have dealt with it, or someone close to them has. Our mental health is important, and it’s not something we should feel ashamed to speak up about.
According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), millions of Americans face living with a mental health condition. Yet, there is still a misunderstanding or stigma associated with the disease among many. This is why it’s so important that we raise awareness of mental illness so that we can fight the stigma and support one another.
I’ve been there, been so depressed that I didn’t know what to do with myself. I thought no one cared about me, and life was just not worth it anymore. All I wanted to do was be finished here and go to Heaven. You read that right, I wanted to end my life on Earth. For me, I didn’t want to necessarily kill myself, but wanted it to be over. It’s a bit of a blur now, but I recall that I then lay down in a parking lot. What’s scary is that, a car came speeding through and almost hit me. My mom was there with me, and it scared the heck out of her, and me too.
Immediately after that, I got help. Something I desperately needed, because I had, and still have a disease. Mental illnesses like depression are just like diabetes or high blood pressure, they need to be treated. There’s an imbalance in your brain, and you need medication for it. You may also need other forms of treatment like therapy. It’s an illness, you just need medical help.
If you or someone you know suffers from mental illness, please get help. You can get and feel better. Please check out the resources on the NAMI website, as well as the Mental Health of America organization.