The stigma of mental illness is often believed to be that we don't talk about mental illness. The harsh reality is that people don't talk about their emotions period and a large percentage of people feel that mental illness isn't treatable. We need to have a clearer starting point and explanations of mental health for people to follow in order to find the help they need.
There are some days when I embrace the work, my activism, and keeping up with the latest about HIV/AIDS. And there are other days when I want to forget about it all and just escape. Because no matter what I do it never seems like it's enough, or that I could somehow be doing it better, or that maybe I waited too long to decide to act.
I was disappointed that the WHO report on depression did not attract any coverage from major news organizations like CNN, NBC, or The New York Times. That same week, there was intense daily coverage of the MERS virus, which has killed zero Americans and 200 people worldwide. The epidemic that is already upon us was ignored.
Words like "addict," "abuser" and "alcoholic" are widely used indiscriminately to describe people who struggle with substance use issues and are laden with negative connotations for much of the culture. As a psychologist who treats substance use disorders I usually discourage my clients and their families from using these words to describe themselves or their loved one.