Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Mental illness is as real as any other disease.

I'm sure by know you have all heard of Robin Williams tragic passing. I think one of the reasons it was received as such a shock was because no one ever pictured someone so goofy and full of laughter to be battling with such an ugly and invisible disease. Events such as these make you wonder if you truly know someone and what they are going through just by what they personify. I know this story all too well. 

I don't think it's easy for us to picture depression, or any other type of mental illness, as just that- an illness. It's not always something you can actually see in a person. Someone could be all smiles and laughs, act completely normal, but on the inside they are dying. That's what depression does. It slowly kills you without the slightest bit of evidence to show for. Of course there are people who battle these types of issues and it is clear they are going through a tough time. But we have to remember that not everyone is like that. Some are just better at hiding this type of pain, this daily battle.

Whenever these events happen and the media is all over it, everyone sympathizes and reach out to their friends and family, reminding them how much they love and appreciate them - and if there's anything they ever need they are there for them. We even reach out to strangers and remind them to "call this suicide hotline" if you're ever in trouble. This goes on for a few days, maybe a few weeks, and then all is forgotten again. That's just the natural course of things. We are only human after all, and we must move on with our lives.

But the people who battle depression, anxiety, OCD, anorexia, bipolar disorder, drug addictions, the list goes on- they can't move on with their lives. Not always. For many it will be a life long battle with many ups and downs. If you've never experienced anything such as this, you have no idea how strong these individuals are for simply facing each day again and again. They are fighters. Silent ones. But fighters nonetheless. Sadly, not everyone will win the fight.

That's why I think it's so important to take mental illness seriously. Not see it as a weakness, or a change of someone's character. You wouldn't say that about someone who got diagnosed with cancer, would you? They may be different types of diseases, but they still affect us in awful ways. Please, if you know someone whose ever dealt with these types of problems, reach out to them. Not just when things like this happen, but as often as you can. Sometimes people are too proud to seek the help they need. Or they simply have given up.

Most importantly, remember that everyone is facing a battle of their own (whether mental illness or not) and we need to support one another the best we can. Not just today, but every single day. Not just when something bad happens, but all the time, any chance you get. 


  1. This is so true! Sometimes all it takes is asking someone if they want to talk. Hopefully this post raises awareness!


  2. It is both shocking and saddening that he pass this way. I'm a huge fan of some of his movies like Dead Poet Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Aladdin and more. I hope this will help raise more awareness to this disease that it so hard to cure. May he rest in peace.


  3. I'm glad you mentioned how we should take the time to support people suffering from invisible illnesses like a mental illness ALL THE TIME, not just when something sparks the idea that we should support them, such as someone passing.

  4. YES YES YES to all of this.

    I've had mild depression for awhile now and everything you say is so true. Everyone seems to care for a couple of weeks after someone in the spotlight either dies or comes out as having troubles with mental health, but then everyone just seems to forget. And there's still this huge stigmatization around mental illnesses. They are diseases, just usually ones that can't be seen. It's so important that the topic of mental illness becomes more talked about, and that it loses the stigma surrounding it.

    Here's to hoping that soon a lot less people will lose their lives due to mental illnesses.

  5. Thank you for this reminder. As you put, people who suffer from mental illnesses-- whatever they may be-- "...are fighters. Silent ones." I loved that line in particular because it is so true, and the very fact that it is true is heartbreaking on its own. Mental illness is not something that is always, if ever, physically visible from the outside. If anyone was a perfect example of this, it was Mr. Robin Williams, the "funny" guy, the "happy" guy. Mental illness is most definitely a silent and terrifying disease to suffer from, and the fact that society sometimes falls silent on this issue is terrifying, too.

    I'm so glad I found this link and came by!

    Take care, XO,
    Melissa at These words are my own.

  6. I hope it helps raise awareness and that it starts to stick. It is very sad news. I just watched a video of his and just hearing his voice reminded me of all those childhood movies :/

  7. Thank you! It is definitely something I feel passionate about. There should be a lot more awareness, especially when it affects so, so many people.

  8. I completely agree with you. At least it's comforting to know that you are not alone in the struggle. But it would certainly help if there was less stigmatism with mental illness. I feel people would be more willing to open up and talk about it and not afraid to say "Hey, I'm sad. Help me." Hopefully we start heading in that direction.

  9. Thank you! I hope Robin Williams passing will increase people's awareness of the issue, and make them realize that anyone, even the happiest looking people, can be suffering from this. It's hard to know someone's life behind closed doors and even harder to know what goes on in someone's mind. Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts!