As someone who has dealt with both mental and physical health problems for many years, I hope more will try to lift the stigma that hangs around such sufferers. Public stigma has decreased over the years, but life in society is still a real struggle for many.
Mental and physical illness, especially anything chronic, makes things most Americans take for granted very difficult. Finding a job is something that can be greatly affected, as employers may be concerned the person is unreliable or unstable. The education system can also be in-compliant, depending on the situation. Try to imagine how hard school is when one is battling their mind or body daily. Friends may be unsympathetic, and partners may want to leave simply because the individual is struggling. Everyone struggles; it is a fact of life. The struggles simply vary from person to person.
Those with mental disorders are not monsters. Most people with bodily illnesses do not fake their condition for attention or personal gain. Please, treat those around you with compassion and sympathy. I hope one day no one will feel like they have to hide their battles because of the fear of rejection and judgment.
Elise Kemnitzer, Eagle
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