What if that was how someone responded to you when you called in sick with the flu, unable to come to work? Or when you were on the phone with your cousin, and she asked how you were?
In a Forbes article by Robert J. Szczerba, we are asked to consider what if physical illnesses and ailments were treated as mental illnesses were by the current status quo.
…imagine you just cut yourself. Or threw out your back. Or had an asthma attack. Or were diagnosed with diabetes. And the response to your malady was “You just need to change your frame of mind, then you’ll feel better.”
These responses seem heartless and insensitive, not to mention socially inept. Yet because mental illness is so misunderstood, this is the type of “helpful advice” that people diagnosed with depression, anxiety disorders and other mental illnesses confront on a daily basis. Talk about adding insult to injury.
Mental illness is still so misunderstood. Often those who have never experienced mental illness think that it is something you can just get over, something you can fix with a “change of thinking,” etc. And those who have mental illness are often misread.
You have depression. You can hardly get out of bed. You start to miss work. You forget to pay your bills. You are labeled as lazy. As irresponsible. Immature. And more.
So instead of treating mental illness as something less real, less serious, less “physical,” try and understand that it is something going on inside of your body too. And people can’t just get over it. They need help. They need understanding.