Fight mental illness stigma

EDITORIAL:

People often view stress, anxiety and depression as something you can snap out of or ignore until it subsides. This idea that these symptoms do not require help or serious attention is false. Mental illness is commonly viewed as only pertaining to disorders like schizophrenia or bi-polar disorder—while stress, anxiety and depression are seen as results of individuals lacking effective coping mechanisms or making excuses. This assumption must end.

These symptoms are as valid as other illnesses. It is detrimental that individuals feel uncomfortable expressing to others when they are struggling with these disorders.

We must work to end the stigma that there is a barometer by which the significance of mental illness is measured.

Often those who suffer from mental health disorders are seen as people who desire attention or want others to pity them. They are seen as pretending to have a problem so others will feel sorry for them or cut them some slack. This viewpoint could not be more unjust.

Those who suffer from mental health disorders warrant equal attention and care as do those who suffer from physical disorders. It is incorrect and unfair to assume mental health is not as serious.

Because of this widely assumed stigma, many individuals are afraid to tell others of the mental illness they suffer from out of fear they will be looked down upon.

It is extremely common for an individual to mention to a peer they suffer from depression or anxiety and the result is their peer suddenly sees them as lacking stability and sanity.

It is in our power to end the stigmatization of mental illness. It is in our power to demand mental illness is given the same attention as physical illness. It is in our power to ignite change.

We, The Ranger staff, urge you to change your perspective and help others understand the importance of validating and treating mental illness.

Spread the word. Speak out. Stand up for fair treatment of those who suffer.

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