Mental Illness Shouldn’t Be Scary

Happy Friday everyone. And Happy Halloween weekend.

This should be a weekend of fun-filled, spooky sights, but this year COVID might put a damper on that reality sadly. While some will undoubtedly push forward with their Halloween plans, it will not be as boisterous a Halloween as would have been if not for COVID.

And while a highly contagious pandemic is reason to be on edge, mental illness shouldn’t be scary. Yet too often Halloweens inevitably see people with straitjackets acting like terrors, never mind the fact that the true terror are the institutions behind those straitjackets and the horrible treatment too many have too often received because of psychiatric hospitalization.

And even when hospitalization isn’t involved, too many people shy away from those who try to be open about their battles with serious mental health issues. Too many police view individuals who are in a mental health crisis as dangerous instead of desperately in need of help. And all of this unfortunate behavior only fuels the stigma surrounding mental illness, the true demon that makes mental illness scary.

Yet mental illness isn’t scary. It doesn’t make individuals into monsters. It is no more frightening than any other illness. And it is long past time that we started treating it that way.

So here is hoping that you have a safe, spooky, self-care-filled, stigma-free Halloween weekend. And as always, thanks for reading.

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