There are two types of stigmas surrounding mental health today, the first one is how the public views people with mental health issues and the second one is how people with these issues feel about themselves. Mental health discussions tend to take over social media and the news when a) a celebrity commits suicide or b) when a shooting happens. In my opinion that shouldn’t be the only time it is focused on, it is getting better but still has a long way to go. People who don’t understand what it is like themselves tend to think that having these issues are just an excuse for not wanting to go to something, or not being able to do something. They don’t understand that people who have these issues desperately want to go out or do whatever it is they need to, but they aren’t able to because anxiety or depression takes over. It’s like having this shadow who follows you around, its always there and some days its brighter and not as noticeable and other days it shows up at the worst or most unexpected times. That feeling or ache that shows up can make someone feel at their lowest and it’s not something they can make go away or disappear. Theirs not always something you can do about it no matter how hard you try. A lot of people tend not to talk about what’s going on with them because they feel ashamed for not being able to handle their issues, or don’t want people thinking that their weak or can’t handle things. If you do open about it the responses are usually “its all in your head your fine” “that’s not an excuse I had x y and z happen to me and I’m fine” or “just let it go”. The thing is people who have these issues can’t just let it go or shrug it off. It would be so much easier if they could. If someone is opening to you about what’s going on with them and you compare it to how you’ve handled your issues isn’t going to accomplish anything, all that’s going to do is make them feel small and weak for not being able to handle theirs. They are trusting you with this information and everyone handles things differently. You also never know what someone else is going though. People might say “wow I wish I had their life it seems perfect, key word being seems. You don’t know what it took for them to show up, be present or what’s going through their head. Everyone is fighting their own battles to show up every day. “Were all in the same game, just different levels. Dealing with the same hell, just different devils” Rhiannon Redemption Everyone has their own issues and it doesn’t matter how big or small they are everyone handles them differently. To make people feel weak, lazy, or weird for having these issues is an issue and the stigma needs to change because chances are people who suffer from it would love to change and are trying to change but need support which includes how society looks at it. People shouldn’t have to fight this battle in silence.