Hello dear reader(s)!
Currently, I am coming down with a cold. I can feel it. One of my housemates also has a cold. Hers is much worse…so far.
When someone has a cold, the rest of the healthy people don’t call it a sinus illness. They don’t call it a chest illness. Sure, sometimes they call it a sinus cold and chest cold to differentiate where the ick is happening, but usually it is just a cold. Especially if you get body aches like with the flu, it isn’t just specific to one system. The run down feeling you get with one affects your whole body, and sometimes even your cognition.
So why when someone has an illness in their brain, do we call it a mental illness?
I have PTSD. It is actually hardly a mental issue at all. It has more to do with inappropriate adrenal function than much of anything else. When I am startled, and all the muscles tense up, I get goose bumps, and my heart beat increases, how is that just a mental illness?
I also have Generalized Anxiety Disorder. When I have a panic attack, my vision can be affected. My heart rate also increases. I have trouble breathing. My stomach gets upset. It is a full-body illness.
The brain is not only very much a physical part of the body, it is the single most important part of the body. You can survive if your heart stops. Try being brain-dead.
So why then are we still calling these very physical and real illnesses “mental illness”?
In doing so, we just add to the stigma that people with mental illness face. Stigma echoed by Trump and his blind-sheep supporters, who equate mental illness with weakness. A draft dodger, and some veterans who know nothing about the way the body and the mind are supposed to function who assume that because they didn’t end up with PTSD, those who did must have been weaker than they are. A coddled billionaire, and some vets with a YouTube channel are dictating a conversation about health. Think about that for a minute.
I’m getting pretty sick of people who think that the mentally ill are anybody more than sick people who need treatment, the same as they would think if their mothers got cancer. Or would these sociopaths call their grandmothers weak for that?
“Well, I smoke and I don’t have cancer, but my grandmother does, so obviously she couldn’t handle it because she isn’t as strong.” – Trump logic
Mental healthcare should be brought into regular healthcare. There should not be separate insurance visit limits and requirements. Just like any other illness, it should be treated. Psychologists and Psychiatrists are medical professionals and should be treated as such. Furthermore, preventative mental health check-ups should be like any other preventative care benefit. The segregation of something so important needs to stop.
Regardless of what is called, what is classified as mental illness affects society as a whole. All of the shootings that Republicans blame on mental illness should constitute a public health emergency. If they really aren’t because of guns, then can we get some damn reform already? Or…is it just an excuse? Either way, treating the mentally ill as weak or bad really isn’t working out all that well for us, is it?
One of the reasons I am getting this cold, and my housemate already has hers, is probably because of stress. There has been a lot of stress involved with moving, stress of getting repairs made, and stress of having new housemates. Stress, the mental issue, likely knocked down our immune systems, allowing the cold to take hold. This illness, born out of the mental issue, is very much physical.
We need to demand from our insurance companies that limits on mental health are removed. We need to demand that they pay the professionals the same as they would pay any medical specialist so that more people enter the field. We need to write to Congress and demand that they pass legislation requiring insurance companies to quit treating those in need of mental health treatment as second-class citizens.
And then we all need to go see a therapist. Just to talk if we think we are fine, so that we all stay that way.