World Mental Health Day
October 10, 2015, 3:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

It’s World Mental Health Day.

I could sit here and do my usual tirade about the suffering I endure as a person with a mental illness. I could go on and on about the medication regime I’m currently on, the side effects, the pain I feel despite being heavily medicated.

I could talk more about raising a child while struggling with this illness; about how it often impedes my ability to be a good mother. I could talk about my battle with postpartum depression. Again. 

But, you see, that’s missing the point. It’s WORLD Mental Health Day.

Doesn’t it seem silly to complain about all of those things–my medication, my support, my treatment–when places like Sudan are throwing their mentally ill in jail, shackled to the wall, because they don’t know what else to do with them?

War torn countries, naturally, breed certain mental disorders and it is a damn shame that those same countries cannot care for them. As of 2005, Iraq averaged less than 100 trained psychiatrists per region. There are more than 100 psychiatrists in Raleigh, I’m sure.

I am a 31 year old woman.

I have bipolar disorder.

I call my psychiatrist. I make an appointment. I am usually seen within a week.

I take medication. I go to Target and pay for it, using my insurance.

I’ve been to the hospital twice for depression and anxiety. I was evaluated, given medication through an IV, and offered a bed.

I was not arrested. I was not turned away. I was not beaten. 

In Ukraine, there is practically no system for medical insurance, so the ill have to foot their own bill. They also are still producing “anti-psychiatric propaganda” harking back to their Soviet days where the mentall ill were detained and abused. The few psychiatric hospitals they have are poorly funded, poorly staffed, and on average house four patients to a room.

Syria currently has two psychiatric hospitals (only accessible to people who live in the capital) and 70 psychiatrists. For 21 million people. Would you have stayed? 

So, before you say that the system has failed you, or him, or this other person you know–think about these places, and other ones around the world. These people don’t even know what the system looks like. They have never known help, or relief. They may never.

Every single person on this earth deserves access to affordable, legitimate, safe mental health.

It’s a world of laughter 

a world of tears

it’s a world of hopes

and a world of fears.

There’s so much that we share 

and it’s time we’re aware

it’s a small


after all. 


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