It’s Mental Health Awareness Month, and recently, scrolling through my Instagram, I quickly felt the immense heartache surrounding mental health—the pain, shame, and complexity that comes with talking about one’s mental health, their illness or disorder. It’s not only that one’s mental health state can be very difficult to endure or manage, but the perception of others makes it even harder.
Our society doesn’t know how to have honest or open conversations about mental health, let alone allow the space needed to discuss its incredibly broad spectrum. Instead of embracing our mental health struggles and illnesses, we hide. We do our best to suppress them. We choose shame over self-love. Secrecy over freedom. Apparent “normalcy” over what is in fact very normal.
I couldn’t help but think about how different our internal experiences would be if our society, our loved ones, understood the scope of our mental health better. So for this week’s We Ask, You Answer, I’m curious: What do you wish people understood about your mental health, disorder, or illness? How different would your life be if your mental health were supported and celebrated by your community? And our society? What do you wish you could share? Can you share it now?