I remember the pain of suffering from depression and anxiety. I hated that pain. It was emotionally crippling, just like having arthritis can be physically crippling. I don’t want others to feel that kind of pain. I know that I am not able to eliminate mental health illnesses from our list of worldly challenges, but what I can do is encourage those who need treatment for a mental illness to get the help they need. There are now many ways to treat the depression or anxiety that is the cause of the pain, and there is no reason to continue to suffer. Mental illnesses are treatable maladies.
When I suspect that someone is feeling the discomfort of anxiety, I want to reach out with my arms and my words. I want to encircle them with a hug that will protect them from the reality of their pain. I want to squeeze them so tight, that there is no room left for their pain. I want to say something that will magically lift away the weight of their mental illness. I want to let them know and feel that everything will be all right. But, this goal is not based in any reality, for I know that healing comes from the within, and each person must do his/her own work to heal. However, that desire to protect others from the pain of an untreated mental illness is the reason I write this blog. I believe a productive approach through which I can assist others is to help erase the stigma surrounding mental illness, and hopefully once that stigma is gone, mental health sufferers will be more comfortable seeking treatment. Treatment will help them eliminate their own pain.