Trigger warning: suicide.
Let’s say you’re having a bad day. Your body feels fatigued, anxious thoughts run on a loop in your head, and it feels like there is a literal dark storm cloud hovering above that prevents you from feeling, at least, OK. The ideal solution would be to take a sick day so you can go home and recuperate, right? Well, that isn’t always possible due to the stigma that exists around mental health in which you would be frowned upon to take the day off if your physical health is fine. Depending on where you work/go to school/have responsibilities, there might not even be a policy in place concerning mental health days which leaves you stuck and feeling awful.
There’s a lot of hustle and bustle that goes on these days. It’s quite easy for the stress to build up, and if there’s too much of it, it can have negative impacts on both your physical and mental health. So why isn’t it taken more seriously? I think part of it stems from the “take initiative and work hard every day” ideology within our society. If someone falls behind, they’re seen as lazy, worthless, and a burden on society. However, if someone busts their butt every day, they are praised for these efforts, yet everyone seems to scratch their head in confusion when stress catches up with that same person and they too fall behind.
This problem is only amplified when mental health problems come into play. Methods of treatment like therapy and medication isn’t always an option since it could not be covered by their insurance/they don’t have insurance and can’t afford it, they lack resources, there’s a possibility of being misdiagnosed and the problem is brushed off by physicians, there’s judgment from their family/peers, etc. This only allows for the problems to continue and possibly even get worse as time goes on which could be sparked by the political climate, climate change, national issues, and more.
If these problems go on long enough, they could develop suicidal tendencies within a person. They get to a point where life feels so hopeless that they feel they simply cannot go on. The stigma needs to change now because people’s wellbeing and lives are at stake.
If you or someone you know are dealing with these problems, the National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255 and there is a texting Crisis Lifeline that can be reached by texting TALK to 741-741. Buzzfeed wrote an article that explains what you can expect when calling a lifeline.
Lastly, I just want to remind you that you deserve to be safe and happy, but you are not a game show host and do not have to be happy 100% of the time. Your feelings are valid and it’s OK to not be OK. Things may be really hard for a while and a mental health problem may never completely go away, but you can learn to manage it. If you’re looking for a sign to keep living, this is it.