Nobody comes to someone’s brain, their mind, or

            Nobody
ever asks to have a mental illness, kind of how nobody asks to get sick or get
diagnosed with cancer. It just happens, life happens and there is nothing you
can do but sit back and live with all that you’ve got. Yet, somehow, those that
get “sick” receive compassion and love while fighting their battle, meanwhile,
people with mental illnesses get no respect much less any sympathy. Mental
illnesses aren’t something that people should be ashamed of, but stigmas in
society shame people that suffer from them as if somehow it was their fault
that they were afflicted with it. How would you feel if somebody blamed you for
having cancer? Modern society is so quick to be accepting of other illnesses,
except when it comes to someone’s brain, their mind, or their control over
themselves. In “An Open Letter to Society on Mental Illness,” pure ignorance
comes across from society because somehow, they don’t understand that mental
health doesn’t define who you are as an individual, “a beautiful person with a
story, a life, and a purpose” (Griffin, 2016). Society contradicts itself in
pitying the physically ill but remains blind to the fact that the mentally ill
have a flaw in their brain chemistry, an imbalance.

Nobody
should ever have a prejudice against someone who is no less than them,
“remember that individuals suffering from any mental illness are not defined by
it. They’re a person too” (Theriault, 2016). Mental illness is an effect that
takes a toll on an individual’s character, putting a change in their physical
mood, their mental mood, their thinking process, and their actions. Just
because there is a change in how they think and act, doesn’t mean they are
different than anybody else, they just seem to have different views and ways to
go about things. It is witnessed in the human race all across the board,
whether it be through depression, anxiety, or schizophrenia. Opposed to people
making their own opinions to classifying someone with an illness, “the
biological view of mental illness is seen as a chemical imbalance in the brain.
The imbalance usually lies somewhere in the levels of serotonin and dopamine,
which are both neurotransmitters in the brain” (Theriault, 2016). Living day to
day with a mental illness can cause people to feel unwanted, and that is why it
is so important for society to pay mind to the issue, or suicide will continue
to go forth being the “10th leading cause of death in the United States, with
42,773 people per year deciding their life is no longer worth living”
(Theriault, 2016). Seeing beyond an individual’s flaw is already a struggle
within society, so when somebody mentally ill comes around, the level of
judgment is enhanced in the eyes of the people, because people automatically
believe everything they see and hear. Humans across the board have always
followed the standard of listening to the media, the news, everything that
society is saying and automatically believing it is correct. Nobody seeks out
further information, it is what it is and never gets questioned, everyone listens
to “the same lame stereotypes going around” (Griffin, 2016). Therefore,
when somebody with a mental illness steals or commits anything out of the
ordinary, their mental illness takes the blame. People look at that individual
with preconceived notions, because they believe they are controlled by this
imbalance in their brain. Society shames the person with the mental illness,
not the illness itself and that is where society misconstrues the difference
between the person and the chemical imbalance in their mental perception. They
do not realize that there is an immense difference between the individual and
their illness. “We are all human. We all act out of pain or confusion and do
stupid, hurtful things” (Griffin, 2016). Of course, nobody means any harm, but
when society teaches people from a very young age to treat others with issues
differently, then, of course, yes “we are all human,” but somehow even though
as a society, individuals vary in their own unique ways (Griffin, 2016). There
will always be that one human that will get bashed for how they do things,
and/or how they contribute to their society.

Mainstream
society is constantly holding a standard over their audience minus the
slightest flaw where they seem to pity the physically ill over the mentally
ill. “The disabled among us are clearly defined not only as those with physical
impairments but also those with hidden disabilities such as mental health
issues” (Ravello, 2014). Physical illness can be brought up through the news,
the internet, and by word of mouth. Whereas mental illness is constantly flying
under the radar, occurring over and over, but when it finally gets brought up
everyone is either alarmed or pretends to care. Physical illness can easily be
shown across the board, but mental illness is sometimes hidden within
individuals who don’t show it. Many who do not show their illness is out of
their “fear of being labeled as having a mental health problem” (Ravello,
2014). Individual’s hiding their illness due to societal stigma’s shows that
they are fearful of the outcome and judgment of what people will say, or about
how they will get treated differently from the mainstream human. Society does
not show enough love to the people struggling through life, constantly having
this weight on them believing that they are “broken or damaged” (Theriault,
2016). They definitely do not aid in giving these individuals a more “normal”
feeling when it is already “hard to hold steady relationships and be socially
included in mainstream society due to the stigma surrounding them” (Theriault,
2016). If someone shows possible signs of having mental troubles, people run
the other way, say they are ridiculous, or simply just ignore the fact that it
is another living, breathing human being. This puts this weight on the
individual making them contemplate if they should ever get help, the odds are
“reduced greatly, where the likelihood of individuals with a mental
health disorder will not seek treatment” (Ravello, 2014). Where if somebody
gets physically ill they go to a doctor right away or go receive help and
quickly they are comforted by loved ones around them as well as society. When
somebody needs help mentally, they should not feel threatened by society in
thinking something bad will come from them needing assistance. Everybody needs
assistance at some point in their life, and society should not create a world
where people need to be afraid of what the outcome will be every time they go
to a therapist, doctor, or psychiatrist. Everyone placed on earth has something
to offer, whether it be something they accomplish to just being a decent human
being. If an individual has a mental illness, society cannot just hold them
back from who they are, “a valuable, unique, wonderful human being who deserves
everything grand that this life has to offer” (Griffin, 2016).  In the realistic world, people wish we lived
upon, “Different people change the world because they can see beyond what is,”
they see a different spectrum of their mental illness, but people refuse to see
any good in that (Griffin, 2016). They believe their thought process is damaged
because of their illness, even though many individuals with mental illness come
up with great ideas and achieve great things. Although they can never show this
out of fear of being rejected or thrown around in society as if they were some
kind of joke.

Mentally
ill people don’t ask for much, just a small amount of “love, compassion, and
empathy” (Theriault, 2016). They just want people to view them as a normal
human who can achieve the same greatness anybody else would be able to. All
they ask for is for society to understand, that way the rest of the world can
learn to understand. With mental illness not receiving any type of comfort or
compassion equal to a physical illness, they blame themselves “on top of the
pain and exhaustion their illness causes, they blame and hurt themselves
more” (Griffin, 2016). These individuals can quickly get stuck inside
themselves with nobody around and cause more pain and misery for themselves
than is needed. Not only are they stuck with a mental illness caused by an
imbalance in their brain, but now they are physically hurting because they
blame themselves, and nobody is there to show them the empathy they might need
to keep going. Currently, as sad as it is to say, most people follow the
bandwagon of society’s stigmas fairly quickly. This makes it difficult for
individuals to gain their own knowledge, form their own opinions and beliefs
towards “such a sensitive topic” (Theriault, 2016). With society pitying the
physically ill, they put up a brick wall distinguishing a difference between
mental and physical illness, as if the two were on opposite sides of the
spectrum. Where both should equally be viewed as an issue and helped, as well
as shown the same kind of concerns and warmth from not only individuals around
them, but the society they live in. In a society, when one is not able to
benefit a mental illness similar to how they aid physical illness, they choose
to ignore what they cannot fix. Additionally, they create those “unrealistic
stereotypes” to make up for their ignorance (Theriault, 2016). “Media has no
idea” who these people are, they just assume that they are all the same ill
people who cannot function properly throughout the day (Griffin, 2016). In
disregard of what mentally ill people need, society is fixed on why they are a
problem and/or how they cause problems. Society has had so many idols who have
had a mental illness, and even hide that from everyone, or at least attempt to.
“Remember Lincoln, Plath, Mozart,” they all had a mental illness that was
neglected, when really, they should have been showing the world they are no
lesser than anybody else. They accomplished huge things, not just because they
were put on a pedestal as higher than everybody else, but because they had
ideas and talents to show the world and they didn’t let the fact that society
shamed mental illness hold them back. In the end, “we all make mistakes,
whether we have a mental illness or not” (Griffin, 2016). The only difference
in making mistakes in society is that society attributes some people’s mistakes
to their mental illness. Society constantly is using mental illness as an
excuse to criticize those who cannot control what goes on in their brain. “The
mentally ill experience the greatest amount of prejudice globally. People with
mental health problems are often seen solely in terms of their health problems,
regardless of their overall contribution to society” (Ravello, 2014). Society
needs to look at the bigger picture to where everyone born on earth has
something to contribute whether it be a talent, or a voice that needs to be
heard. They cannot keep pushing these people out or hide them under the rug,
just because they are scared these people don’t fit within their perfect image.

 “It’s time to change society’s view of mental
illness. It starts with one person. Who knows, maybe that person is you”
(Theriault, 2016). Individuals have battled for years trying to get people with
mental illness the love they deserve, but are constantly shushed, put down, or
shamed. Individuals with a mental illness need to know that “they are here
for a reason,” they aren’t just another problem on this earth (Griffin, 2016).
They deserve to contribute to society just as much as anybody else. They
shouldn’t be put below the physically ill just because the physically hurt can
be fixed, but a mental illness can’t. Society needs a mind change from being
“stuck in the stigmatized mode where mental illness equals madness requiring
incarceration” (Ravello, 2014). Nobody should have to be put away because they
are viewed as crazy because if you strip that mental illness away, all that is
left is a beautiful human being that could fit into society’s perfect image.
The perfect image of being seen as beautiful and being able to contribute to
your society with your voice and/or talents. A mental illness shouldn’t change
how you view someone, just as if an individual is diagnosed with a disease, you
don’t treat them differently or put down their ideas, just because something is
wrong with them.  Above
all the physically ill and mentally ill need equal rights among the society
they are included in. They should all feel like they can receive help with
believing they have a purpose.