Mental Illness-Let’s talk about it.

Here’s an understatement, mental illness is real and is serious business. It’s so amazing how so many people underestimate mental illness. I guess it’s because it’s not like most other illnesses where you yourself can physically see the symptoms or a doctor can run tests and see the symptoms. Mental illness can often start as a silent avenger, taking out folk before they even realize something is wrong. As far as I know, mental illness doesn’t run in my family. But  I really can’t say for certain because my family like most families, keeps mental illness on the hush-hush. We don’t talk about it. No one wants to mention mental illness out loud. No one likes to talk about someone in the clan being crazy. That’s what we call it, you know. Being crazy. Out there. Having a few loose screws. Being a few eggs short of a dozen. The old elevator doesn’t quite get to the top floor. Etc. Etc. We can joke about it; but we won’t talk about it. It’s time to change that. Whenever  I see a newscast of yet another mass shooting, I wonder if the shooter’s family was aware of possible mental illness. I wonder if the shooter even knew. A lot of us poo-poo feelings of depression or anxiety in ourselves and our loved ones. We should rethink that policy. I’m not saying we should over analyze every emotional moment. What I am saying is that we should encourage ourselves and our family to talk about how we’re feeling. As a man, I get the not talking part. It’s not manly talking about feelings and what not. We’ve got to change that mentality.  A little talking today can save a life or lives tomorrow. Let’s take our mental health as seriously as our physical health. Okay. Can we at least talk about it?

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