Be Aware

This is a thing

I am late in making this post but better late than never...
So May is Mental Health Awareness month and I consider myself an advocate for all things mental health related, especially in areas that personally affect me. I love that a month is dedicated to spreading this type of awareness and I think it's a great way to get conversations started. A lot of times, we humans can be very calloused towards the situation of another if we ourselves have never experienced it. I find that to be especially true for those with mental illnesses. In my post about Bi-Polar Awareness, I noted that those with this type of mood disorder and other mental illnesses are not crazy or deranged. The mind is a delicate thing and certain life experiences can cause major disruptions to its processes and function. Some people are even born with a mental illness or are susceptible and predisposed to them due to their genes and family history.

Let's take Eating Disorders, for example.
BED, Bulimia, OSFED/EDNOS, Anorexia, Purging disorder, Chew/Spit, those are all eating disorders or behaviors of them. They are not diets. They are not about losing weight. They have a deeper psychological meaning and are disorders of the mind. They are about feeling inferior, not good enough, about needing a sense of stability and security. They're about self hate due to past experiences, and so much more.

Depression
It's not feeling sad because something didn't go your way, it's feeling an overwhelming sense of gloom and often times worthlessness. It is not laziness and just focusing and one's problems. It is being physically and mentally drained of all energy  insomuch that life becomes a meaningless and tiresome chore. That's been my experience, anyway.

Anxiety
Anxiety is panic attacks over something minor that your mind blows out of proportion. Or sometimes it may be a huge thing but your mind tells you that you can't handle it sufficiently and you go into a tailspin. It is feeling worried to the point of vomiting and/or diarrhea. A lot of physical disturbances happen as a result of anxiety disorders. They are not simple nervousness, they are disorders of the mind.

People don't develop mental illnesses because of "unconfessed sin", as one interesting website put it. People develop illnesses because of susceptibility, because of genes, because of environmental situations, etc. Mental illness is no different and so much can contribute to one developing it.

I could go on and on about what mental illness is and isn't. It's so important for us to spread awareness and get to a place where those who suffer are not stigmatized and made to feel like monsters because they are sick. We can't be afraid to speak out on our own behalf or the behalf of those we know are struggling. No one has to suffer alone because there are so many resources available. Mental Health America is one website (and a source for the info I've provided) that explains so well what bi-polar disorder, anxiety, and other mental illnesses feel like. Please share this post and more importantly, that website with someone you know who could benefit in gaining a deeper knowledge of what mental illnesses are. Maybe you could benefit from learning more. I am even constantly seeking to broaden my understanding of the world of mental illness. No matter what is said about those with these illnesses, we who suffer with them must remember that God does not look at us through our illnesses or shortcomings, He looks at us through our acceptance of Jesus' sacrifice on the cross.

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