A Stigma Worth Fighting

“He started breathing heavy like he was going to make himself hyperventilate.”

I listened to my friend explain a difficult coworker and how they have bad anxiety. All I could think about was the time I hyperventilated while I was in the service, and how they probably talked about me the same way my friend is…making it sound like it was on purpose. I was a little annoyed to be honest, and sad that this kid does not have the support from their job, then paranoid that people talked negatively about my events.

Let’s be real, in America you are considered useless unless you can work. People judge you based on your job performance more so than your personality or life situation. Even though we all go through stuff, companies can’t profit off of those that have mental illness’. I get it, money has to be made, but why do we have to be such assholes about it? What can we do to improve both situations, the job and the person?

Could we end the stigma?

An often politicized stereotype about people with mental illness is that they are violent or dangerous. However, a small minority of people living with mental illness commit violent acts. They are actually 10 times more likely to be victims of a crime, making them a vulnerable population we should be protecting instead of fearing.

So let’s start with fear by educating. Remember those guest speakers in high school and such? We could start there. Start at freshman level and continue every year.

To make change you must inspire change.

Mental illness is a serious issue and people need to know that it’s not ok and that we cannot assume someone was “trying to make himself hyperventilate”.

We are all just trying our best in an unforgiving world.

Image URL: http://Rise Above by cosmicevu on DeviantArt https://www.deviantart.com/cosmicevu/art/Rise-Above-886044928

Article on mental health stigma: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/mental-health-stigma#why-is-mental-health-stigmatized

2 thoughts on “A Stigma Worth Fighting

  1. “companies can’t profit off of those that have mental illness” So true. I often feel like companies chew people up and spit them out. Work them till they can’t work no more than replace them when they can no longer function. We need to do better to help those who are suffering from mental illness

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think you are right. Some even cause mental illness due to the nature of the job. We really do have to start understanding mental illness and identifying it, there’s so many people with something going on that it cannot be ignored any longer.

      Liked by 1 person

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