Sitting in a psychiatry office is so awkward. Like, you know the other people are here for something mental health related too but it’s dead silent most of the time. Breathing feels loud. Or the exact opposite, some person wants to talk to you and you are trying to avoid eye contact so no one will think you want to have a conversation.
I can feel my hands shaking as I type this ( and I’m trying to breathe quietly). Right now I definitely don’t want to have a conversation. I’m feeling ready to be done with this and I haven’t even see the doctor yet.
I answered my questionnaire about how I’m feeling (spoiler alert-I feel like crap), and now I’m waiting in silence hoping for this to be over quickly.
The best part is, the doctor will likely change or increase my medication, and we don’t have the money to pay for it right now. Which of course is contributing to my stress. I can hear Beyonce in my mind, “Can you pay my bills, can you pay my telephone bills…”. except, can you pay my pills? I mean I lost a half day of work, a copay, and the gas to drive over here and back home.
Which leads me to my next point. Why is healthcare so expensive? Even with insurance, it’s expensive! I don’t believe in free healthcare personally, but damn something’s gotta give. When will mental health be a priority to people? But I suppose anyone with any condition feels that there’s is more important than another’s.
“Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year”*
I read that 1 in 5 adults experience some form of mental health issues. ONE in FIVE, or 43.8 million people. Almost twenty percent of the population. That’s an insanely high number. That is such a large number I almost can’t fathom it. Out of every five people you know, at least one of them is battling with mental illness.
So why is there still such a stigma around it? I can’t wrap my brain around such a large number and yet I still feel ashamed when I speak about it in person to anyone-including my family. My brain, and the brains of a lot of other people, just don’t work quite right. Why does it seem as taboo then as speaking about pornography? More importantly, how do we end it? I definitely don’t have all the answers or even some of them at this point, but I guess it just takes baby steps. One day at a time, one person at a time, sharing their story-like me, and for now, that is enough.