Millions of Americans each year face the reality of having and living with some form of mental illness. The month of May is dedicated to bring awareness and knowledge about mental illness and end the stigma that is so strongly associated with it.
Facts and Statistics on Mental Health (as of 2011):
One in five American adults experienced a mental health issue
One in 10 young people experienced a period of major depression
One in 20 Americans lived with a serious mental illness, such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, or major depression
Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. It accounts for the loss of more than 38,000 American lives each year, more than double the number of lives lost to homicide.
Half of all mental health disorders show first signs before a person turns 14 years old, and three quarters of mental health disorders begin before age 24.
Enough of the medical, statistical, and factoids of this. I know many people who suffer different severities of mental illness, from schizophrenia, PTSD, anxiety, depression, self-harm, bi-polar, eating disorders, ADHD/ADD, autism, personality disorders, mood disorders, behavioral disorders, phobias, panic disorders, obsessive compulsive disorders (OCD), and so many more. A lot of these are not violent, they are just internalized and people don’t seek help because of this looming stigma they are faking it or it’s a waste of time to seek therapy. Especially men. I, myself, suffer from social anxiety and generalized anxiety, which why blogs like Tumblr are such a gateway for me. No person to person…it seems dumb I KNOW. However, I can’t shut my brain off every time I walk into a social event, and the funny thing is that I’m a photographer. I deal with people ALL THE TIME. But I can’t stop my heart from racing, or my hands from sweating, or the racing thoughts. It won’t simply GO AWAY, and I truly distaste those who say that “IT’S JUST A PHASE…”, “IT’LL GO AWAY WITH TIME…” or my personal favorite “HAVE YOU TRIED THINKING POSITIVELY…”
Family and friends help, or even seeking help from a prevention line (and it can be COMPLETELY ANONYMOUS, NO NAME).
There are also crisis hotlines…there shouldn't be any shame in asking for help. IT ISN'T WEAKNESS, IT’S STRENGTH.
Thank You and Blessed Be!!
(photos from pinterest, NAMI, funnyjunk, and google images)
We’ve lost another brother today, Ash Haffner of Charlotte, NC. I cannot stand the chain of trans death that has occurred since Leelah Alcorn left us.
It is, of course, very important to publicize these awful things and fight for a better future of trans youth. However, the kinds of posts that are being made to do that are romanticized just enough to make anyone of us that are mentally ill, and/or feel alone stop and think “if I did it, I’d be a 200k tumblr post and a trending topic on Twitter, too. If I did it, people would care about me.” I know this because it’s crossed my own mind more than once. Please keep us safe. Tell us you love us while we’re here, and remind us that we’re not alone.
For anyone battling with mental illness here are a list of national hotlines. You’re welcome in my ask box as well. Please stay with me, my brothers and sisters and non-binary siblings, I can’t change the world without you.
Suicide Prevention lifeline:1-800-273-8255 Trans lifeline:877-565-8860 GLBT National Help Center:1-888-843-4564
Please feel free to add any lifelines you know of.