This week Oct. 7-13, 2012 is Mental Illness Awareness Week.
In 1990, the U.S. Congress established the first full week of October as Mental Illness Awareness Week (MIAW) in recognition of the National Alliance on Mental Illness’s efforts to raise mental illness awareness.
This week mental health advocates across the country are raising awareness, talking about mental illness and advocating for those who are suffering.
As a woman and mother with mental illness, I want to do my part. I want to help remove the stigma of mental illness. So I’ll be sharing my thoughts and some valuable and important information with you this week.
I often wonder what others think of me because of my mental illness. So many people just don’t understand.
For example, my husband has been told by friends and colleagues that he should tell me to “suck it up” when I’m having a really bad day and need him to come home to help me with the kids.
A lot of people don’t know what its like to feel so underwater that you just can’t physically bring yourself to leave the house.
And many don’t understand the ups and downs, where one day or week or month you’re cruising along just fine and then WHAM something happens and you sleep for 18 hours straight or have a panic attack.
If you don’t have mental illness and want to better understand your loved ones who do, I highly recommend you read the following from Healthy Place. It is a great overview of what it means for someone to have mental illness and what you can do and say to try and be there for them.
I’ll be ending Mental Illness Awareness Week by walking in the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention’s Seattle Out of the Darkness Walk.
If you are in Seattle, please join us. Or please consider donating to our Motherhood Unadorned/Purposeful Practices team.
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Do you worry about how others perceive your mental illness?
Do you wish you had a better understanding of your loved ones’ mental illness?
P.S. You can also find me at the Woodinville, WA Patch online following a tragic local suicide by a student at Woodinville High School last week. http://woodinville.patch.com/blog_posts/fighting-for-suicide-prevention-seattle-suicide-prevention-walk-oct-13