I’ve been forbidden to write about the mental health issues suffered by my family members. And that antiquated way of thinking is the problem.
No family is immune from mental health issues. Like anyone else, depression, anxiety, mood disorders, substance abuse and bipolar episodes have impacted my family life ever since I was a young kid. Back then, people were ashamed of mental health problems and hid them. But today, since these issues are so commonplace, people are speaking up in order to remove the stigma attached to getting help for mental health issues.
Get physically sick or injured, and there is no shame in seeking medical care. But mental health care, that’s a different story and it shouldn’t be. We all need to do our part to change that by openly discussing these challenges, making it easier and more comfortable for people to seek help. There is no shame in getting help for mental health issues. In fact, it takes courage and strength, which are admirable qualities.
It’s Mental Health Awareness Month and I’ll be posting about it several times in May…while maintaining my family secrets at their request.