Do you know why I write about mental health?
Why do I write about mental health?
I write about mental health because we need to be having daily conversations.
Mental health needs to become as “normal” to talk about as physical health.
We need to talk about it in communities, in schools, in churches.
Mental health is social.
I can’t get to know you if I don’t have my mental health.
You can’t get to know me if you don’t have your mental health.
I write about mental health because I don’t want it to scare the world anymore.
I want there to be stories of the millions of people affected by mental health issues — stories of the people who don’t see their stories in the mass media.
I want people to recognize themselves in those stories.
I don’t want mental health conversations to be about fear, about guns, and about losing control.
Losing control can be a part of mental health, but losing control of what?
There’s always more to the story.
Sometimes losing control can be a good thing. Sometimes losing control, escaping oppression, is a normal response to an unhealthy environment.
I want us to talk about that.
Your neighbor might seem strange until you hear his story.
Then, it’s difficult not to empathize with him.
The same goes for mental health.
Words like “bipolar,” “schizophrenia,” and “borderline” still conjure up negative images.
I don’t want minds to immediately go there.
I want minds to recognize human beings, to see mental health as a part of who we all are.
I want people to see the whole person made up of many beautiful parts.
I write about mental health because it makes me happy.
It helps me meet people I never would have met.
To learn from people who have lessons I need to hear.
And I write about mental health because I feel like I have no other choice.
I remember thinking strange thoughts as a child — and thinking I was the only one.
To know I’m not the only one has changed my life in indescribable ways.
What if everyone had that feeling?
What if we saw mental health like we see physical health?
What if we saw a greater variety of mental health stories on TV, in newspapers, in schools, in magazines, in our relationships, in our families, in who we are?
How would the world change?
It wouldn’t be all good at first. No change is easy.
There would be growing pains.
But there would be growing.
Like flowers waiting to burst through the dense soil, there would be more and more colors to admire.