“Looking back, I realize now that’s why I should have told people. To show them that, yes, someone with a mental illness can seem totally fine on the outside, but battle something on the inside. To show them that it’s OK to get help for mental issues—just like it’s OK to go to the doctor for the flu, or the dentist for a cavity. To show them that they’re not alone if they too struggle with their thoughts and feelings.
Today, I know I’m not alone. A staggering one in five adults suffer from a mental illness in the U.S. in a given year, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness. And 18.1 percent of adults—that’s 44 million people—in the U.S. suffer specifically from anxiety disorders, according to Mental Health America. But sadly, there’s still a stigma surrounding getting help for mental illnesses. Only about a third of people suffering from depression seek help from a mental health professional, and the MHA explains it’s because they “believe depression isn’t serious, that they can treat it themselves or that it is a personal weakness rather than a serious medical illness.””
We are losing too many people to depression to continue in silence. They need to know how common it is, and how many people have overcome it. How else will people see that there is life after depression?