Letter to the editor: Mental illness can happen to anyone; it happened to me | SummitDaily.com

Letter to the editor: Mental illness can happen to anyone; it happened to me

Linda Perrotti

Mental illness is rampant. Those afflicted are undervalued.

The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.

Mental illness is a flaw in chemistry not character.

It’s beyond hard going through a mental illness. It’s draining and overwhelming, but most of all, it is very lonely. You feel different, secluded, trapped. Often, it is hard for loved ones to understand what someone with mental illness is going through. They want to help but don’t know how. Unfortunately, mental illness cannot be cured by someone else, no matter how much they want in their soul for you to feel better. It is a battle that only the person going through it can learn how to deal with. This does not mean that the individual should be left alone to struggle with their illness. It means providing nothing but love, comfort, encouragement and support in a time when they feel trapped in a lonely, dark hole. Mental illness is a hard battle for anyone who has to face it alone.

That’s the stigma because, unfortunately, we live in a world where if you break your arm, everyone runs over to sign your cast. But if you tell people you are depressed, everyone runs the other way. We are so, so, so accepting of any body parts breaking down — other than our brains, And that’s ignorance; that’s just pure ignorance. That ignorance has created a world that doesn’t understand depression and doesn’t understand mental health.

The mentally ill frighten and embarrass us. And so we marginalize the people who most need our acceptance. What mental health needs is more sunlight, more candor and more unashamed conversation.

Mental illness can happen to anyone. And it happened to me.

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