May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Sadly, there’s still a stigma around mental health disorders. Whether you’re dealing with anxiety, depression or schizophrenia, you can feel alone and isolated. Mental illnesses do not discriminate. Your age, race, economic status, ethnicity or education cannot protect you against a mental health disorder. But treatment can help you cope. Your support system can provide help.
There Is Hope
Here are 10 quotes that can make you realize that you’re not alone.
- “One of the things psychologists used to say was that if you are depressed, anxious or angry, you couldn't be happy. Those were at opposite ends of a continuum. I believe that you can be suffering or have a mental illness and be happy — just not in the same moment that you're sad.” - Martin Seligman, American psychologist
- “The most dangerous thing, when you have a serious mental illness, is convincing yourself that you don't have it. And you see it all the time. People get on medication, and they feel better, and they stop taking it. And some flirt with unreality on some levels. But it feels so convincing to them that it feels real.” - Noah Hawley, producer of “Fargo” and “Legion”
- “It can be difficult for people to talk about it, because there still is that stigma around mental illness. But I would encourage people to do that, because they'll be surprised once they do 'come out' how many other people have had similar experiences.” - Matt Haig, British novelist and journalist
- “When you read about it, you realize that mental illness is so prevalent. People didn't always have the right terms for it, but most families have had a brush with it.” - Ron Howard, producer and television star
- “My goal is to see that mental illness is treated like cancer.” - Jane Pauley, journalist
- “One day, I made a remark that I might work with people with mental illness, and somebody in the press heard it, and it was in the paper. And the more I thought about it and found out about it, the more I thought it was just a terrible situation with no attention. And I've been working on it ever since.” - Rosalynn Carter, first lady
- “At the root of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there should be no distinction.” - Michelle Obama, first lady
- “It is an odd paradox that a society, which can now speak openly and unabashedly about topics that were once unspeakable, still remains largely silent when it comes to mental illness.” - Glenn Close, actor
- “I feel strongly that young people and parents need to know that they can ask for help. Just as with physical health, we need to act early to provide support when a child is faced with emotional difficulties.” - Kate Middleton, British duchess
- “Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of at all, but stigma and bias shame us all.” - Bill Clinton, American president
If you’re experiencing mental health problems that prevent you from enjoying life, the National Alliance on Mental Illness is a good place to start to find resources. Go to Nami.org or text NAMI to 741741 for 24/7 crisis assistance. Don’t feel as if you’re alone. Reach out and get help.
If you know someone who needs help, give them information. Ask what you can do to help. You can’t force them into treatment, but you can be there to hold their hand while they do the hard work.