Mentally ill people are not broken

Mentally ill people are not broken.

And mental illness is not . . .

  • a moral failing
  • contagious
  • best treated through medication only
  • best treated through jail
  • a problem of the individual
  • impossible to treat
  • somebody else’s problem

Rather, mentally ill people are just people, like you and me, who have a medically diagnosable illness. Like cancer. Only we’re not as kind to them as we are to people with cancer.

Mental illness is . . .

  • a mismatch between the abilities of a person to cope and the demands of a society that is becoming increasingly hostile to basic human needs
  • an illness that probably affects you, a family member, or a close friend
  • and therefore, a problem that affects whole families and communities, not just the person with the illness
  • super common! About in four adults in the U.S. suffers from it in any given year
  • worsened by overwork, poor sleep habits, and inadequate diet
  • treatable through a combination of medication and counseling
  • an opportunity for growth

This is stuff everybody should know. I wish we taught it in high school. Because early intervention can make a huge difference! Here are a couple of links to helpful pages on the American Psychiatric Association web site.

Warning Signs of Mental Illness

Healthy Minds, Healthy Lives

Another cool site is the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

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– Kristin

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