Tonight I’ve read about the lead singer of Linkin Park committing suicide. It made me so sad to think that there are still so many people who lose their battle with mental illness. It troubled me so I went on www.mentalhealth.org to look at some statistics…
In England, women are more likely than men to have a common mental health problem and are almost twice as likely to be diagnosed with anxiety disorders.
In 2013, 6,233 suicides were recorded in the UK for people aged 15 and older. Of these, 78% were male and 22% were female.
10% of mothers and 6% of fathers in the UK have mental health problems at any given time.
One in five (19.1%) women had CMD symptoms, compared with one in eight men (12.2%).
So the statistics are telling me that more women will suffer with mental illness than men, but more men will die by their own hand because of it.
This deeply saddens me as I do believe, if there wasn’t so much stigma about mental illness, more people would seek help.
This also highlights a huge gender inequality issue that our society has. Now there are sooo many but let’s address one for a minute…
Little girls are brought up to be beautiful princesses and little boys are brought up to be big strong men.
Men are told they can’t cry, that if they cry they are weak. Men are brought up to not wear their heart on their sleeve, to be strong and brave.
having or denoting those good qualities traditionally associated with men, such as courage, strength, and spirit.
This my friends is complete and utter BULLSHIT. Mental illness is mental illness, it is not weakness. It is especially not specific to women, as those handy statistics prove. Regardless of mental illness, any person, no matter their gender, should be able to show as much or as little emotion as they want.
I’m not much of a cryer myself, don’t get me wrong, I cry, and not just because of depression – season 11 finale of Grey’s Anatomy, I cried for like a solid hour. Real ugly face, hyperventilating crying – I’m not even ashamed, that shit was sad!!! Usually though, I’m not really a cryer. My best friend on the other hand – now she’s a cryer, like aaalll the time! (Love you mate, you big cryer you!).
We all show our emotions differently, but we should all be able to seek help if we are struggling. If a man broke his arm and his bone was sticking out of the skin, I don’t care how ‘manly’ he is, he can’t just shake it off and push through it. He needs professional help to fix that shit! So if a man’s brain doesn’t produce the correct chemicals and causes him to feel overwhelming sadness, emptiness and make him want to kill himself… what makes you think that it’s not ok to seek professional help for that?
Sometimes we all need a little bit of help in life. As children, we need our parents or guardians to teach us how to talk, walk, use a toilet. We need our school teachers to educate us. We need doctors and dentists for all our physical ailments. And sometimes we need doctors, counsellors, family, or friends to help us with our mental ailments. There is no shame in asking for help, nobody should feel that they have to suffer alone. Men, women, gender neutral, children – ANYONE – should be able to ask for help, without being shamed for it.
Mental illness is not weakness. It is not something to be ashamed of. You never have to deal with it alone.
To anyone suffering in silence, speak up, be heard, be free from stigma and get the help you deserve. Talk to a friend or family member, talk to a doctor, call a helpline, don’t get to the point that you feel your only way out is death.
Much love to all, especially my fellow mental illness warriors! We are not alone.