What life challenges affect our MH? Such a broad & important question.
You start w genetic predisposition & of course there are millions of sufferers whose MH is unfortunately impacted: those who have bipolar, schizophrenia, OCD, etc.
You then get into traumatic & chronically stressful life experiences – premature death of loved ones, divorce, job loss, breakups, lost friendships, bullying, verbal abuse, consistent demeaning by a boss – the list is a mile long.
But here’s the interesting thing…the ones above are the obvious ones. I speak to would-be Alliance members on just abt an every-day basis, & I commonly get this question – But what would I talk abt? I’m not diagnosed w anything. Nothing ‘major’ has ever happened to me.”
Look at this pic. A random one. The boy in the middle is very tall. Sticks out like a sore thumb. Many might say, big deal, he’s got a chance to play bball at a high level. Is that true? How many ppl just cause they’re uniquely tall, go on to play pro. Even the ones who do, what do you think it was like growing up?
I only use being uniquely tall as an example. What might a person like this deal w throughout their life? Constant stares? Feeling diff in pics? Being asked how tall they are every time they’re in an elevator? Being made fun of by other kids bc they look weird sitting in a desk made for “normal” sized ppl.
Maybe you don’t feel bad for the tall guy/girl. But what abt the kid born w a birthmark on their face? With juvenile diabetes where weight management is an issue? With a speech impediment? With a cleft? I can go on, but you see the point.
Challenges come in so many diff shapes/sizes. Yes there are challenges that are genetic in nature, & many that are based on life experiences. But we can’t discount that we are human. We all look diff. Diff shapes, sizes, colors, athletic abilities, reading abilities, social abilities, etc.
Differences “stick out” & bc they do, human nature is to stare & wonder…& it often leads to curiosity & then questions.
The bottom line is, challenges that affect MH come from many places. We’re all in this together. Let’s rally, not separate.