300 million people worldwide are affected by mental health problems!
The World Health Organization estimates that over 3 million people worldwide are affected by some form of mental illness most commonly depression.
Depression is a dangerous mental health issue since typically is the catalyst which leads to people contemplating are even attempting to commit suicide. Mental illness is something that we can no longer ignore!
According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention over 44,000 Americans die from suicide each year. That’s just the number here in America. I would imagine the worldwide number of people who are successful in taking their own life would be a staggering and an almost unbelievable number.
It’s not just depression and suicidal thoughts that are the problem. There are many different mental health challenges which can affect the daily lives of millions of people. These disorders include bipolar disorder, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, dementia, schizophrenia, and even developmental disorders such as autism.
Why people are not seeking treatment for mental health-related issues
The main reason many of these mental health challenges go untreated is we have stigmatized mental illness to the point where people are afraid of being labeled crazy if they seek treatment. Untreated mental disorders have a severe negative impact on your physical health, ability to work, education, family, and even your capability to avoid homelessness in certain grave situations.
Because of the stigma surrounding mental health many people who suffer from one of these disorders attempt to self-medicating often with either illegal drugs or alcohol. Research shows those who suffer from mental health issues are responsible for the consumption of 38% of the alcohol, 44% of illicit drug use and 40% of the tobacco use here in the United States.
Taking part in any form of self-medication often makes your disorder much more difficult to control and often leads to either imprisonment or complete mental breakdowns. Some situations people have even become violent and end up physically harming or even murdering others unintentionally. During their mental breakdowns, they are not their real selves and usually have no recollection of their actions after the fact.
I happen to be one of the 300 million people who suffer from mental health problems. My main issues are bipolar disorder, PTSD, generalized anxiety disorder, and ADHD.
Luckily, I am one of the minorities of people who suffer from mental illnesses that have sought out help and use medication daily to keep my symptoms under control. Therapy could probably help with most of my issues; however, bipolar disorder currently has no cure and is one of the medical problems that will cause me to be on medication for the rest of my life.
Why I want to be a mental health advocate
I’ve scanned social media and noticed so many hateful comments and inappropriate jokes about various mental illnesses. This is one of the leading causes of the stigma surrounding mental health and is why I am attempting to become a mental health advocate.
I have been trying to help anyone to the best of my ability by providing those who are suffering a compassionate person who will listen to their problems without judgment. I have also been attempting to spread awareness about how severe and unnecessary the mental health stigma is.
My long-term goal/plan for ending the stigma
I do hope that one day I can overcome my anxiety disorder enough to where I can go out in person and work on helping erase the stigma surrounding mental illness. I think volunteering at homeless shelters, speaking in person my legislators, holding rallies, and even just handing out pamphlets to help others understand how significant mental health issues are and how much the stigma surrounding it hurts millions of people who desperately need help.
For now, I have been contacting my local lawmakers requesting more funding for mental health treatment and education in public school health classes that cover mental illnesses. I feel that if you can reach people at an early age and explain that having a mental health problem isn’t something a person can control.
Please help me spread the word and stop this terrible stigma. Join me in becoming an online advocate against the stigma surrounding mental illness. We can work together by posting tweets, Facebook posts, Instagram posts, blog posts, and even YouTube videos. I feel when open-minded people are presented with facts they will change their behavior and eventually help in working on de-stigmatization.
Please feel free to reach out if you have any questions or need someone to talk with. You can reach me via my contact page, leaving a comment below, any of my social media pages or even give me a call via my Google voice number 480-420-9716 if you want.
Thanks for reading and I hope that can work together to end this terrible stigma!