Felt compelled to post a message like this, given that it’s “Mental Illness Awareness Week.”
We are seeing slogans all over social media about a) labels, b) percentages, c) risk factors, etc.
It’s accurate that any of us could have any different number of disorders we are fighting. However when we separate these “things” as much as what we are seeing, the result is, we feel like we are going at them as part of a “separate impacted group.”
Each of us have different genetic predispositions. From a physical health standpoint, I might have loose joints…my friend may have brittle bones. But at the end of the day, those genetics are exacerbated by the stressors we put on those joints & bones: our weight, our activity level, etc.
Likewise w MH, you might be more genetically predisposed to anxiety, your friend to depression, & your neighbor to OCD. But what happens to us in life – the stressors & traumas we face, are what makes the underlying genetics appear & impact us even more (just like the example of the joints & bones, above).
If we each have different genetics…& we each have different stressors & traumas in life, then no, our journeys are not exactly the “same.” But, if like the slide says, we meet on a certain path, we can come together on the FACTUAL similarities, that we all face challenges, stressors & traumas that impact us. THAT reality IS what makes us the same. Isn’t coming together on that path, way more comforting than walking our own separate paths as much smaller groups?