In one of the most stunning moments of self-awareness in my (then) young life, I told my Mother that I thought my inability to keep my room orderly was a reflection of the way I felt inside. She begrudgingly took me to see an LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), whom my Mother would regularly call demanding to know the content of our sessions. Thank goodness the woman refused.
Later, once I was married and had two children, I went to the Women's Center of Tarrant County in Fort Worth, TX, where we lived, ostensibly for assistance in finding a job. I wound up getting once a week sessions on the "counseling side". Many such organizations, this one included, have fees that work on a sliding scale, so they can still help you even if you have low-income. Once I got assigned a case-worker on the employment side, I expressed my difficulties in interviewing for a job based on my depression. Her response was, "Well, you just have to stop." Oh, if it were only that easy.
One barrier to a "normal" life for those of us with mental health issues is a feeling of shame associated with our diseases. Some of this feeling is self-imposed. Some comes from society around us. Nearly all of it is because of a lack of knowledge or education.
We are familiar with many so-called physical diseases. Most people know what diabetes or cancer is and have at least a passing knowledge of their treatments and some sensitivity to changes in outward appearance for sufferers of those maladies. There seems to be a feeling that a physical disease is something that has happened to or been done to a patient, that it must be understood and a cure must be found. I agree. Being ill (physically or mentally) SUCKS! Unfortunately, for mental illnesses, the feeling is much more that this is something that the sufferer should be able to fix by themselves and they are just ... I don't know, really, lazy or something.
In order to affect a change in this inequality, I think spreading knowledge about the realities of mental health is in order. There are many sites on the internet that can help. Admittedly, most of these are based in the US. I would welcome people from other countries listing resources found in their homelands.
Here is a listing of some of the larger mental health organizations in the United States:
All provide a wealth of information, no matter what your particular mental health issue is. If you feel you need assistance with a mental health concern, please to not hesitate to contact one of these organizations, or one of the numerous state or local agencies. There is no need to suffer alone, or in silence.
1. Please put this button in your post:
Have a great week, leave a comment and join us again next Monday. Ooooh, and tell your friends!