If we told people to just stop having cancer.
That they need to get over it and walk on a broken leg without a cast.
That taking medication to cure migraines is a sign of weakness, that they should just get over them.
What if we attached such stigma to physical health problems that people hid them and allowed themselves to slip further into their illnesses?
What if we attached so much guilt to physical health problems that people doubted their ability to function in their daily lives?
What if we blamed people for physical health problems?
I see people stigmatise mental health problems so often, see people so ashamed of their depression or self harm that they hide it and let it consume them rather than reach out for help.
After speaking out in the media I saw countless comments about how selfish I was to have children while suffering from anorexia. How I would undoubtably be harming them irrespective of the fact that I'm in the process of recovering.
Would I be accused of the same thing if I was in remission from cancer? Or had diabetes?
If I had diabetes would I be accused of being weak for not curing myself rather than give myself insulin?
Would I be blamed for having cancer? Then blamed again for not getting better fast enough?
It's so wrong that people with mental health problems have to constantly fight the stigma that is places on them. Constantly justify their actions, stand up for themselves and their lives, prove their abilities and fight the judgement thrown at them.
At least once a week I get a message or comment expressing the view that I am in some way harming my children by being ill, that despite perusing the road of recovery I'm not doing enough. "Don't you think they deserve more?" "Shouldn't you be doing more?" Etc.
And I always wonder whether if get these same questions if I had diabetes or cancer or a physical disability. Would u be made to feel guilty? Would I be expected to recover at a superhuman rate?
I think probably not.