Hi, it’s me. Remember me? The girl who thinks often about this blog but never seems to have the time to write. Well, I’m back (for a bit) because I kept thinking about something today. Thinking and thinking and thinking, and wondering, and wanting to write. So here I am.
Today’s January 25th. In Canada, we call that #BellLetsTalk day. And it’s a real important day for all Canadians, especially those who live with mental illness. Today is a day I think about my own battles with my brain (depression, eating disorders, anxiety, etc.) and I think of all the people I love, and their battles too. And, it’s on a day like today that I wonder: is it enough, yet? Have we normalized mental health enough? The answer of course is no. I know this because of the movie Split that just recently came out. Have you heard of it? It sounds terrible. I don’t think it’s going to be awful because of the actors in it (I quite like the British actor fronting the film) and I don’t think it’s going to be awful because I don’t like psychological thrillers (I forced my parents to rent a stack of scary films when I had my tonsils removed in grade 7) and I don’t think it’s going to be awful because I hate everything all the time. I think it’s going to suck because it demonizes mental illness in 2017. 2017. This year. After all the progress we’ve supposedly been making, Hollywood comes along and shits all over it.
And I’m actually pretty upset about it. I don’t like that this movie makes a person with a valid mental health concern into a monster. That’s not fair. It’s not fair to the people who suffer from that condition. Isn’t it enough that they’re terrified, trapped inside their own bodies? Isn’t that enough? Why push it so that now everyone around them is terrified, too?
Depression is important to talk about. Anxiety too. Eating disorders. Obsessive compulsive. Schizophrenia. Bipolar. Borderline. All of the above and many more.
So what can you do? Well, open lines of communication. Be willing to discuss all sides of mental illness. Know when to get help for you friends and family. Know when to say when for your own mental health. Stop using ableist terms like “crazy” “insane” and “mental” to describe things that aren’t any of those things. Oh, and boycott that awful film. If you want to watch something about mental illness, check out the mini docu-series Don’t Call Me Crazy on Netflix instead. It’ll open your eyes to all sides and all types of mental health.
Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about all of it. And listen, too.
Interested in reading more pieces about #bellletstalk and/or mental health in general? Look no further than here, below.