Destigmatize mental health issues

Mental health is one of my favorite issues to write about and to discuss. I believe everyone should be educated in mental health, and should understand that people who suffer from issues such as depression, anxiety and drug addiction, don’t do so willingly. Mental health has a large stigma attached to it, and to the people that suffer. I hope that through continuously writing about mental health, I can help people understand and reduce the stigma that surrounds it.

Throughout my years writing for Pipe Dream, I chose to focus on mental health related issues as often as possible. In one of those articles, I wrote about my own struggles with anxiety.

After weeks of concerned comments from both my teachers and friends, I saw a neurologist. 

There was absolutely nothing physically wrong with me. No tumors or blood clots. What I had was tics, a less serious form of Tourette’s Syndrome (TS).

TS is, according to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, “a neurologic illness that begins in childhood or adolescence. The essential feature of TS is tics — multiple movements or vocalizations that are sudden, rapid and purposeless.”

I am certain that when most people hear the word “Tourette’s,” they think of someone uncontrollably shouting out profanity in a large auditorium.

Sadly, some severe cases of Tourette’s do manifest themselves in that way, but more than 60 percent do not.

I am also certain that most of us have either made fun of, or have been around someone who has made fun of, a person with Tourette’s.

It’s understandable; the noises and actions can catch people off-guard, and sometimes you just have to laugh.

But that is where the stigma that surrounds the illness comes from and why it is so taboo.”

 

Read the full article here 

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