It is as bad as it sounds
By Tina Blacksmith

Mental illness really is as bad as it sounds.  It’s hard to believe it’s already been over a month since Chester passed away.  I remember, actually quite fondly, listening to Linkin Park every single day for a long period of time during my teen years.  His memory will live on forever in the hearts of those he touched.

Mental illness is not taken seriously

Depression tricks you into believing you would be better off dead and it got so bad that he couldn’t see any other way out of his pain.  That doesn’t make him or anyone else struggling with these thoughts weak.  All you have to do is watch one of the last interviews Chester did and you will understand just how terrifying it was for him to fight his own mind on a daily basis.  To see the interviewer basically just laugh it off shows that it is not taken seriously.  I’m sure that made Chester feel even worse.

Don’t make people feel worse

It’s very important to not make those struggling with suicidal thoughts feel even worse.  Denying that mental illness is as bad as it sounds by saying, “But you’ll leave behind your wife and kids”, or “It can’t REALLY be that bad”, makes it worse.  These things can and will add an extra layer of guilt and make them feel like their feelings aren’t important.  Never, ever tell someone that what they’re going through isn’t as bad as it sounds.  The truth is, when you have a mental illness, it IS really as bad as it sounds.  Suffering from an invisible illness is horrific.  Your brain loves to make you feel like shit.  It will tell you the worst things about yourself and although those things aren’t true, it is very hard to believe otherwise.

Help end the stigma

Changing the way we talk about mental illness would be a great start.  Words like “crazy”, “nutjob”, “psycho”, or “freak”, do nothing to help put an end to the stigma surrounding mental illness.  We all need to help anyone struggling realise that it’s okay to talk about their feelings, thoughts and emotions.  It’s okay to ask for help, whether that’s from a friend, a spouse, or a professional.  It’s time to stop acting like mental illness isn’t a real thing.  Because it is real, it is as bad as it sounds, and it’s scary as hell.

Reproduced with permission, originally posted here

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