Yes. I am one of them. Crazy people. The ones that people still feel it’s acceptable to make fun of or worse yet discriminate against. And I live in your neighborhood, shop at your stores and even “gasp” roam freely about unsupervised. I have a disease of the mind that sometimes causes me to behave irrationally or creates huge anxiety for me. Most of you would never suspect that I have something wrong with me but that’s only because I work incredibly hard at hiding it from the world. And doing that is exhausting and only adds to the symptoms of my disease.
The next time you laugh about saying someone is going nuts or is “crazy” stop yourself. Think about that person as a human being – someone who feels and hurts just like you do – and instead of pointing fingers and whispering about them, take a moment and say hello to them. Every person has a story to tell and we as a society need to start listening to those stories. People just like you may be struggling to keep it together, just barely hanging on and one step away from losing it. Being compassionate to their struggle will bring you peace.
Mental illness is real. It’s happening to 1 in 5 Canadians. 762 young people die by suicide every single year. Children are losing their parents and parents are losing their children. Stop the shame and start the conversation.