You Are Not Your Disorder

I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), and I’m not shy about talking about it. It affects my life and my business.

And to be honest, the real reason is that I refuse to have even a tiny little part in this country’s repression of mental health discussions.

The United States places very little importance on good mental health. We claim to support our troops but have little in the way of mental health support after their service is complete, and the PTSD and suicide rates among former military members are sadly high.

We claim we want to help people, yet we have few to no regulations about selling guns to people with a history of mental illness, resulting in so many mass shootings.

We grow up with a “suck it up” attitude thrown around, a stigma attached to therapy, and a general distaste for lifelong medications. For putting “chemicals” in our bodies.

Which is ludicrous, everything is a chemical, including water and salt.

Depression, anxiety, insomnia, these are diseases and disorders.

You didn’t CAUSE your depression or anxiety, any more than someone caused their own lupus or asthma.

It’s a chemical imbalance in your brain. Your brain simply does not produce the correct cocktail of everything you need to not have depression or anxiety.

Unlike pregnancy or breaking your ankle skateboarding, there is NOTHING you could have done to prevent your brain from ticking this way.

Unlike accidentally burning dinner or rear-ending that Kia at a red light, this is NOT YOUR FAULT.

No amount of wishing, hoping, dreaming, or praying could make you not have the chemical imbalance, and it is irresponsible of us as a society to shush people from talking about it or getting the help they need.

Mental health and well-being are extremely important in living a full life. Trying to correct your imbalance should be praised, cheered, and applauded.

It takes guts for young people to come forward and say they need help and instead of ignoring them or telling them to smile, we should be supporting them and asking how we can help them.

Children are our future, but hey, young adult suicide rates are up, oh well?

Entrepreneur, writer, editor, book coach, cat lover, weirdo, optimist. Author of “Write. Get Paid. Repeat.” & “Concept to Conclusion.” jyssicaschwartz.com

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