TEDxTalks: Mental Health and How it is to be Human

  If you didn’t know already, the month of May happens to be Mental Health Awareness Month.  I’ve spent a majority of my time re-watching TED talks on topics where the speaker has either dealt with a mental illness or has helped others with a mental illness.  It’s been an interesting journey for me since I’ve opened up about the things that have happened in my life.  Getting treatment for myself has only made me want to open the eyes of others who don’t understand how difficult living with a mental illness can be.

Read: Life with Generalized Anxiety - A guest post we had submitted to Sarah the Mindful Minimalist. It is about my life with generalized anxiety and how debilitating it can be when it’s at it’s worst.

Read: The Experience of Taking Psychiatric Medications - It was the last resort for me to ask for medications to help with my mood swings, anxiety, and depression. It’s been a long journey of trials and tribulations, but we’re getting there.

You should know what it means to be human

  What I’ve done here is pull together a few of my favorite TED talks for you to watch.  Going online and blogging about mental health to try and fight the stigma may seem like a daunting task, until you’re met with a community trying to do the same thing.  There has been so much progress in today’s society with how we treat mental illness and those who suffer from it, but it’s a slow-moving progression.  Hopefully a few of the words from these speakers resonate with you and open your eyes a bit more!

Sangu Delle: “Being honest about how we feel doesn’t make us weak - it makes us human.”

Sangu Delle witnessed the effects of opening up about having a mental illness.  He was approached by a friend who needed someone to confide in, and after knowing this, Sangu watched their friends begin to distance themselves.  Why is it that boundaries are created often when we find out that someone suffers from “being mental”?

Eleanor Longden: “Sometimes it snows as late as May, but summer comes eventually.”

At first the voices were easy to ignore, but as they began to start giving commands and become more hostile, Eleanor opened up to a friend that told her to seek medical attention. After being diagnosed with schizophrenia and having difficulties managing her symptoms, she learned that there were more to the voices than what they were saying. Now she advocates for those who suffer from auditory hallucinations to take advantage of the voices and see if they have another meaning.

Kevin Breel: “What you fear the most isn’t the suffering inside of you, it’s the stigma of others.”

Kevin Breel is your typical outgoing, energetic, stand-up comic that had two worlds: the one that everyone saw, and the one that he experienced behind stage.  Why is that we are so quick to send flowers and pay hospital visits to our friends who experience physical illness, but we are quick to run the other direction and place judgment when it’s a mental illness?  He encourages us as a community to stand together to help those in need, because we are stronger together.