Tag Archives: mental illness

Mental Illness Awareness Week

Mental Illness Awareness Week  takes place October 2-8 and is an
opportunity to learn more about serious mental illnesses such as major
depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia.

Mental illness is a medical problem. One in four adults
experiences a mental health problem in any given year. One in 17 lives with
serious, persistent mental illness.

The good news is that treatment does work and recovery is possible. Unfortunately, less than one-third of adults and less than one-half of children with a diagnosed illness receive treatment. The U.S. Surgeon General has reported that stigma is a major barrier to people seeking help when they need it.

That’s why Mental Illness Awareness Week, sponsored by NAMI, is so important. They want people to understand mental illness and join a dialogue in our community. The more people know, the better they can help themselves or help their loved ones get the help and support they need.


A Word That Should be Weighty

Melancholia would still appear to be a far more apt and evocative word for the blacker forms of the disorder, but it was ursurped by a noun with a bland tonality and lacking any magisterial presence, used indifferently to describe an economic decline or a rut in the ground, a true wimp of a word for such a major illness. —-William Styron

For those of us who have suffered this major illness, it is rather difficult to hear others throw around the word depression rather lightly. To hear it used in context of discussing trivial matters such as a bad hair day or missed social opportunity just diminishes those of us who suffer with Depression. It is a serious illness that deserves the same respect as any other medical problem. I’ve co-opted some stuff from another website below.

Snap out of it!

There are many ways to insult someone with depression, without even trying very hard. These days just snap out of it lacks imagination. The best way is to give some unsolicited advice. Something simple, profound, and potentially life changing.

Here are the some ideas:
“You don’t like feeling that way? So change it!”
“Life isn’t meant to be easy.”
“This is what life is like. Get used to it.”
“Pull yourself together.”
“Who said that life is fair?”
“You just have to get on with things.”
“At least it’s not that bad.”
“Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”
“You have so many things. What do you have to feel down about?”
“You just need to cheer up.”
“Quit trying to be a martyr.”
“Stop taking all those medicines.”
“I know how you feel. I’ve been depressed for whole days at a time.”

These are my favorites:
“What you need is a good kick up the backside.”
“Go out and buy yourself some clothes. That will pick you up.”
“Are you sure you don’t have a mental problem?”
“How about I cook you a good meal. That will make things better.”
“Have you tried acupuncture?”
“Get a job!”

And the all time best:
“Why don’t you try not being depressed.”

Nothing cuts deeper to someone with depression, than when their serious condition is trivialized by another who doesn’t understand it.

Depression is an illness that can be life-threatening. Everyone should take it seriously and think before they say something that may diminish someone else’s sense of self. Thanks for understanding, and share this with friends and family!

STIGMA and Mental Health Problems

I found these statistics disheartening, but again, I find hope that people (even our government!) want to do something to change it! What can you do to facilitate change?

Campaign For Mental Health Recovery Campaign Sponsor: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Volunteer Advertising Agency: Grey Worldwide


Encourage, educate and inspire 18-25 year olds to step up and support friends they know are experiencing a mental health problem.


Mental illnesses (depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, etc.) are widespread and often misunderstood. According to SAMHSA in 2005 there were an estimated 24.6 million adults aged 18 or older who experienced serious psychological distress (SPD), which is highly correlated with serious mental illness. Among 18-25 year olds, the prevalence of SPD is high (18.6 % for 18-25, vs. 11.3% for all adults 18+) yet this age group shows the lowest rate of help-seeking behaviors. Additionally, those with mental health conditions in this segment have a high potential to minimize future disability and pursue recovery if social acceptance is broadened and they receive the right support and services early on.

Mental health recovery is a journey of healing and transformation enabling a person with a mental health problem to live a meaningful life in a community of his or her choice while striving to achieve his or her full potential.


The opportunity for recovery is more likely in a society of acceptance, and this campaign looks to men and woman 18-25 years old to serve as the mental health vanguard, motivating a societal change towards social acceptance and decreasing the negative attitudes that surround mental illness. The PSA campaign is designed to encourage this group to step up and support their friends who are living with a mental illness by demonstrating the roles they can play in their friend’s recovery.

The campaign includes television, radio, outdoor, print, and interactive elements. Viewers and listeners are encouraged to continue to support their friends who are living with a mental illness and visit the campaign website to learn more about mental health and what they can do to support their friend’s recovery.


18-25 year old friends of people living with a mental illness.


• Only about one-quarter of young adults between the ages of 18-24 believe that a person with mental illness can eventually recover.

• Only 42 percent of Americans believe that a person with mental illness can be as successful at work as others.

• Only a little more than one-half (54%) of young adults who know someone with a mental illness believe that treatment can help people with mental illnesses lead normal lives.

• Despite the fact that an overwhelming majority of Americans believe that people with mental illnesses are not to blame for their conditions (85%), only about one in four (26%) agree that people are generally caring and sympathetic toward individuals with mental illnesses.

HealthStyles Survey 2006 (Porter Novelli)

Learn more about fighting stigma at www.nami.org

We have to support and educate our young people and eliminate stigma…they need to feel they have options other than being self-destructive!