Mental Illness IS NOT…
…something that makes a person bad
…weird or strange
Mental Illness IS…
…a treatable medical condition, that requires lifestyle changes
….more successfully treated when a patient has a strong social network and encouragement.
…a condition that requires support, total acceptance, non-judgement and love.
…still stigmatized and one of the last few bastions of discrimination in Canada
…a condition that lacks awareness
…in desperate need of funding and strategy for medical care, social support and research
Mental Illness generally breaks down into 2 categories. There are Mood Disorders such as depression, anxiety and Bipolar Disorder (previously known as manic depression), and Thought Disorders such as schizophrenia. In cases of more severe illness, a mood disorder can affect thoughts and thought disorders can affect mood. Either Mood or Thought Disorder, these are medical conditions that require medication, therapeutic support and lifestyle changes to minimize episodes of illness. Some with mental illnesses will be chronically ill, some episodically ill, some will only be ill once or twice in their lives.
Having a Mental Illness which has been diagnosed for 7 years, I have had the great pleasure of meeting many others that struggle with various illnesses and disorders. In many cases those I have met have concurrent disorders meaning more than one mental illness. This could be a Bipolar Disorder and OCD, or Schizophrenia and an Addiction, or Depression and Anxiety, regardless it is on this journey that I have met some of the most insightful, compassionate, kind, creative, intelligent, eccentric, interesting people I have ever met. You would never, ever guess these special friends are even ill or have any type of condition.
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