Mental illness was never beautiful. It wasn’t what social media displayed. It wasn’t waking up sad and having a boy kiss your scars. It wasn’t a caption for your Instagram selfie either. It was drooping eyes at 4am. It was blood stained sheets. It was feeling absolutely insane. So don’t you dare romanticize something so painful, you’d rather not wake up tomorrow. Don’t you dare, until you’ve faced it, and once you have, you’ll never even think about romanticizing such a horrible thing.
—  Realize this
  • Sick person:I have a cold
  • Normal person:Aww I'm so sorry! Feel better. I know it sucks you just have to get through it. Remember to drink plenty of liquids and tons of vitamin c!!! I've been there and I do hope you feel better soon!
  • Mentally ill:I have a life threatening mental illness.
  • Normal person:stop it.
Maybe if more people would treat the mentally ill like people instead of an infection more people would seek treatment.
—  Every time I’ve went to treatment they’ve made me feel more of a burden instead of a patient

A small town in Belgium you’ve probably never heard of could hold the solution to America’s problem with mass public shootings. Shootings in malls, cinemas and most horribly and regularly in schools. Mentally ill men — and it is almost always men — regularly murdering as many strangers as possible has become one of the realities of living in America today.

But it doesn’t have to be like that. A small town in Belgium has quietly welcomed those affected by mental illness into their community peacefully and happily for 700 years. Geel has a remarkable approach to mental illness, one that was once copied all over Europe during the twentieth century. The town’s residents are paid a stipend to bring people into their homes, treating them as one of the family in what is known as “the family care system,” an article by Mike Jay for aeon magazine reports.

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How do you think I feel when teenagers are making mental illness something it’s not? You think it’s beautiful for those scars to be kissed, but how do you think they got there? There’s a lot more to mental illness than what is being portrayed. Those scars you think are beautiful; they’re not and neither is the reason they’re there. You think about the throwing of razors away, but what about how I threw my life away because of it all? I don’t ever want to see you portray mental illness as positive because that means you don’t know what mental illness is.
—  This war is not beautiful, never was.