Mental illness is one sick, insidious and painful disease. It forges a mighty path of destruction and leaves devastation in its wake. It doesn’t care about the people it takes down or about the amount of lives it affects.
And what’s even sadder is society’s perception of it all. Thankfully, things are finally beginning to change for the better, but we’ve still got quite a long way to go as a culture. Luckily, celebrities like Demi Lovato are speaking out. The singer recently took the fight all the way to Capitol Hill, where she continued her crusade for mental health reform. She was there on behalf of the Be Vocal: Speak Up for Mental Health initiative and spoke to legislators at the National Council for Behavioral Health’s Hill Day…
“I think it’s important that people no longer look at mental illness as something taboo to talk about. It’s something that’s extremely common, one in five adults has a mental illness, so basically everyone is essentially connected to this problem and this epidemic,” she told PEOPLE magazine. “The problem with mental illness is people don’t look at it as a physical illness. When you think about it, the brain is actually the most complex organ in your body. We need to treat it like a physical illness and take it seriously.”
It’s SO important to keep this sort of positive dialogue going, and it’s so refreshing to see Demi step up and be that voice of change. Here’s someone who can envision a brighter, more understanding future — someone who isn’t the least bit afraid to be open and honest about her past struggles. I’ve always felt a sort of kinship with Demi. We were both in the hospital around the same time in 2010 and I appreciated that she didn’t hide or cite “exhaustion” as the reason for her hospitalization like some celebrities do. I think it helped open a lot of eyes and ears, even back then, and she’s been working hard ever since — both of her recovery and outreach efforts!
Although I may not have the same platform that she does, I work very hard to stomp out those mental illness stereotypes on So About What I Said. It’s something I take very seriously, and even before my own struggles, it was never something I took lightly. It’s too important of an issue to just gently sweep under the rug and pretend like it doesn’t exist.
Because it does exist. All over the world. In our own backyards. It could be your mother, your sister, your boss, your best friend. Sadly, mental illness doesn’t discriminate, which is why it’s so important to NEVER back down and ALWAYS fight back. I hope you’ll join us in this fight, and remember, never be afraid to share your story! xoxo