Mental Illness in Disguise

Illustration by Paige Veal | The Signal

Over the past years, society has been changing when it comes to mental health issues. Despite people ostracizing people living with mental illness for decades, now we are trying to be more aware of the difficulties of having a mental illness. 

These changes have caused more people to open up about their mental health struggles, but this does not change that many still feel a deep shame surrounding their mental problems. 

In America, 44,000,000 people suffer from mental illnesses. Only 18% of these people are open about their struggles.  

More people suffer from mental health issues at an earlier age because of their stress at that age. Some people belittle the pressure that young people feel and compare it to what they have to deal with now. 

These belittling comments make others stay quiet about their struggles because they fear others comparing them to an older generation who may have felt they had it worse.

Society never taught these older generations about the dangers of mental illnesses. The world taught them to get over it because no one would care. 

Older generations might think people who know about their mental health struggles will see them as weak. This fear of opening up perpetuates a cycle of fear that many in the younger generation feel about opening up about mental health. 

Some younger people might think that other people will use their mental illness against them. 

Regardless of the root cause, being viewed as a feeble person is the source of insecurity regarding mental health. The most common mental illness in America is anxiety disorders. 

There are 42.5 million adults that suffer from these different types of anxiety disorders. A lot of people who suffer from anxiety issues come from abusive homes. 

A lot of abuse victims receive anxiety as a result of their abuse. Their abusers often convince them that no one will care about their mental health struggles, so they pretend they are perfectly fine.

This attitude of isolation is a toxic mindset that they learned from their parents or a partner that no one truly cares about, and they are just being a problem for being open about their struggles. They convinced themselves that the only way to live peacefully is never to tell people what happened to them or about their issues with mental illness.

Another reason people do not want to be open about their issues in mental health is that they want to seem normal. A lot of people do not like the attention of being honest about their struggles with mental health. 

These people do not want to seem like a medical case, so they choose to be silent about it. Mental health is an issue that people need to discuss. 

Even though some choose to be more open about it than others, we still need to spread awareness of some people’s issues every day. By spreading awareness, we can convince some of these people to get help.