Yet another article relating to mental health from today’s Guardian Online.

At SOS, we are open to articles we feel may be of interest to our users from any source, but have to admit, the Guardian always have something of interest, something that the public can relate to and today’s offering is no different.

By Clare Allan, this article examines how often we’re required to ‘prove’ we have a mental illness.  For example, if we’re claiming certain types of benefits.  It comes back to one thing – if people can’t see it, they don’t trust that it actually exists, another one of the many stigmas surrounding mental health.

As Clare points out in the article ‘Humans are strongly predisposed to believe in what they can see. For many people, it is hard to accept that severe anxiety, for example, might incapacitate someone from leaving their house as genuinely as if they were suffering from a physical paralysis. The fact that the problem cannot be seen makes it easier to dismiss’

With more people and groups than ever working hard to stamp out stigma and encourage open and honest discourse, it is tragic that we still feel pressured to hide our feelings, to conceal our true psychological position.  As Clare adds:

‘For the more we hide our difficulties, the more invisible they, and we, become. And the easier for those with an agenda – of cutting benefits, for example – to deny they exist at all’

We all have to learn to speak out and not feel ashamed or awkward by the experiences we’re having, or have had.  To communicate is to share and sharing helps us to understand and learn.

‘It’s time to stop the silence’

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