Today I want to share some of the most powerful readings I’ve come across about mental health. The more I’ve read and talked to people, the more I’ve realized the frequency and severity of the mental health difficulties plaguing many of the people I know and love. Those same problems are probably affecting the people you know and love. Talking about and better understanding mental health heals us all.
This is a Twitter thread specifically talking about the experience of suicidal ideation in veterans. It’s not long, but the core idea is especially powerful. Thinking about suicide isn’t a sign of weakness or selfishness or brokenness or anything but a MEDICAL EMERGENCY. You wouldn’t (or shouldn’t!) stay quiet about having a heart attack, and you shouldn’t be quiet about suicidal thoughts. Reach out to a safe friend, family member, or colleague. Call one of the free hotlines. Show up at your local ER. But don’t stay stuck in those thoughts by yourself.
Also, let’s talk about myths about suicide. We should all make an effort to be educated about suicide and not spread inaccurate myths or misinformation. Spreading false can make people feel more isolated. We don’t want that.
No. I’m Fine — Creative non-fiction about one man’s experience of a non-defined mental illness. He does a great job of explaining the many conflicting feelings that can make it hard to get or accept help, even in a supportive environment.
How to Talk to Ghosts — This one isn’t quite as easy to connect to mental illness specifically. In many ways, the author is writing (beautifully) about races and culture and how we draw lines around our remembrances. I’m including it here because our ghosts are often the voices in our head that speak of traumas and drive us into spirals of illness.
The Touch of Madness — a fascinating and difficult look at how we all shape experiences of mental illness. The article deftly weaves lived experience with research to create a completely new (at least for me) look at schizophrenia specifically, but I think some of the concepts are transferable to other mental illnesses.
How I discovered my depression — something I’ve realized in myself is that I often don’t know enough about a mental condition to even recognize it in myself. The same may be true for you. This author offers a personal look at recognizing depression and getting help.
I welcome your comments, and encourage you to be kind to yourself and kind to others.