“I just don’t think you have enough AIDS to get treatment.” “I think we’ll wait to begin your chemo until you have more cancer.” “Your Ebola isn’t advanced enough for us to do anything about it. Go home, rest up and when it gets worse give us a call.”
They all sound ridiculous, don’t they? If you’d never tell someone their illness is only a little symptomatic, why make those with mentally illnesses feel as though they aren’t sick enough for treatment?
The idea that we must be more ill to seek help pervades the minds of so many of us with mental illnesses. I battled it myself for years before finally capitulating. People I respect have quietly admitted feeling guilty for taking their pills or seeing a therapist. The idea of not being sick enough to warrant treatment runs concurrent to feeling as though we should be able to handle it ourselves.
This is true, but even more, you should never have to apologize for taking care of yourself, even in small ways. Sometimes the small things we take a moment to do for ourselves, can prevent the larger declines in our mental health, or the help you get early on can prevent a serious decline.
Why would we not want that for everyone?