OK? Got it?
See if that statement said -
I have diabetes and take medications so that I'm OK,
I have thyroid condition and take medication so that I'm OK,
I have a heart condition and take medication so that I'm OK,
it would not get the same response as
I have a mental illness, P.T.S.D. (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) and Acute Anxiety Disorder being my "formal" diagnosis. And I take medication so that I'm OK.
If my pancreas wasn't working properly I would need to take some form of insulin, make modifications to my lifestyle in order for me to live a healthy functioning life. This would be accepted by the general populace.
If my thyroid was creating too much or too little of the hormones it produces, I would be required to take medication in some form and make lifestyle changes...
If my heart... well you get the idea.
Well, my brain doesn't work properly. It doesn't create enough of the chemicals dopamine and serotonin, two neurotransmitters that act as chemical messengers that relay nerve signals through the brain. Consequently, I have to take mediation, and make lifestyle adjustments in order to live a healthy functioning life.
For some people, the requirement to take medication to help with this chemical imbalance in their brain, may only be for a short time. For others, the imbalance is so out of whack that they will have to be on medication for the rest of their lives. I'm one of those people.
So don't judge me because I take medication in order for my brain to work properly. You wouldn't judge me if I had diabetes, or a thyroid condition, or a heart condition. Get educated. People who have a mental illness don't just decide one day to "make it up". It's as real as any other organ in your body not functioning optimally.
One of the beautiful things about advances in medical technology is that we now have the ability to "map" a person's brain. Scientific evidence that someone's brain is not functioning properly can now be obtained. As they say a picture can tell a 1000 words.
I have a mental illness and I take medication so that I'm OK.
And that is OK!!
Some Resources - get educated people!
Reach out - supporting someone with a mental illness
R U OK? A conversation could change a life