Mental health and mental illness are two separate things. Mental health is the overall feeling of your mind; you’re well-being within your mind all psychologically, emotionally, and mentally– if you’re coping with everyday things in a healthy way or not. Mental illness is a diagnosis of a serious disorder that may affect your everyday life– your mood, behavior, decisions, and actions.
Mental illness can be misunderstood, taken advantage of, untreated, and misdiagnosed. It creates a subject in the political field as well. Mental health activism and awareness plays a positive part for those who struggle with a serious mental illness, or experienced a traumatic event. Those people reach out to individuals who relate to them or find supporters who want to help a cause. Things like health reforms, evaluations for criminals, stable/affordable/effective mental health care, and other things involve the political view of mental illness.
Unfortunately nowadays and for the past few years, mental illnesses have been romanticized and taken as somewhat of an excuse for criminals who commit serious crimes. (TW) Self-harm is not beautiful, being depressed isn’t deep and thoughtful, and anxiety isn’t a “totally relatable” or “cool” thing. The disorder itself isn’t pretty, but it is beautiful when someone digs themselves out of it; when someone gets something positive out if it; the drive to help and support people; the desire to write and share their story to raise awareness; the fact that they try.
It is a serious struggle, and not something to “get over” easily. You just can’t “calm down” when you’re anxious. You just can’t “smile more” when you’re depressed. I find it frustrating when telling a friend about your feelings or issues, and they reply, “same”. No, it is not the same, and yes you are not helping me. Even though people can have the same diagnosis’ the struggle and situations are still different– especially when it comes to how and when a person can genuinely become triggered. It has become a social norm to say you’re “triggered”, when that “trigger” is something insensitive or humorous. That statement is basically mocking people with real triggers that they can or cannot control.
In my opinion, mental illnesses should be acknowledged and taken care of properly, and mental health should be double-checked regularly. The mental health of someone can change drastically, and it can still be unbalanced from an occurrence years ago. It is usual for everything to be down some days, feel lost, or even feel elated and positive, either way, it is something to be tracked and acknowledged within yourself or for another person.
iif you or someone you know has a mental illness or have an unhealthy sense of mental health, ensure you get the help and care you need. You are not alone, and a lot of us are genuinely aware of what’s going on.