Awareness of mental illness on general is also important because I was very clearly struggling when I was a kid but I didn’t know. I didn’t have a clue what anxiety was and only knew depression from the glamourized way the media portrayed it. Whenever I tried to express my feelings, I was simply invalidated by my family. When I had unexplained physical symptoms, no one ever thought to consider anxiety. Instead I was left in agonizing pain for years without an explanation as to why. One doctor even had the nerve to tell my dad that it was all in my head. Looking back now, it was so incredibly obvious I had anxiety, but years of being invalidated let me unable to feel safe expressing my feelings and convincing myself that I was just being overdramatic or I sucked at handling life. I didn’t know that I was struggling with legitimate medical conditions that could be treated. I didn’t know I didn’t have to live like that.

What We Can’t Forget to Talk About When We Spread Suicide Awareness

Depression Kills, by B.L. Acker, Contributor, The Mighty

People are struggling through life, feeling completely lost and alone, feeling like they have nobody to turn to, no one who understands. People are struggling in silence because we’ve made them too afraid to speak up. They’re afraid of being labeled or seen as weak, a danger to themselves or others or as a joke. We’ve told them too often to suck it up and reminded them that others have it worse rather than acknowledging and addressing their pain.

Silence kills.

We need to stop treating mental illness like a dirty secret that we can’t talk about. Depression is killing people. Silence is killing people.