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As mental illness awareness week comes a close, I just wanted to write a quick few lines. Mental illness is a TRUE illness. There are several disorders, but the most common, or most talked about among the public are Depression, Anxiety, Bipolar Disorder, and Schizophrenia. Mental illness does not know any boundaries. It is not specific to a race, religion, gender, age group, or social status

Yesterday, I read a post on Facebook by a famous radio DJ. This radio DJ talked about how her teenage son had been battling with depression for years and she provided all types of counseling, but a few days ago her teenage son died by suicide. Suicide is claiming more and more lives each day. We live in a culture where to this culture it seems like it does not matter if people take their lives. We live in a culture where is seems like, “it is their business if they want to take their life.” The reality is suicide affects not only that person, but many others, especially, if it is a child. Which brings me to another point, suicide of children and teens is on the rise. If we really took the time to get an understanding of mental illness, then I think, our culture would look at suicide and mental illness differently. Mental illness results from a chemical imbalance in the brain. This chemical imbalance affects each person differently. Hence, back to my original statement in the beginning. It is a true illness. Please stop the stigma. It is not something that people can, “just get over” or “just snap out of it”. As a qualified mental health professional, I have not met one person who wants to deal with symptoms such as severe mood swings, not being able to get out bed daily, losing interest in personal interests, hearing voices, seeing things/people/shadows that are not there, etc. and those are just a few. All I am asking is that as a culture we stop the stigma. Take the time to educate yourselves. Take a stand for mental illness awareness!!!

If you want to learn more about mental illness, but don't know where to start, google your local National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). If you live in the Houston/Galveston area, you can DM me and I can get you connected to local resources. Together we can stop the stigma!

National Suicide Hotline: 1-800-273-8255



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