More than a Gnarls Barkley song, for individuals who struggle with mental and emotional problems, the "crazy" word lingers and threatens to shame them into silence. At the heart of the stigma surrounding mental health, there is a fear of being seen as sick, insane, foolish, stupid, etc.
Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million—experiences mental illness in a given year.
Any mental illness (AMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder. Which ranges from no impairment to mild, moderate, and even severe impairment.
Serious mental illness (SMI) is defined as a mental, behavioral, or emotional disorder resulting in serious functional impairment, which substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities.
When people think about mental illness, they often picture very severe impairment due to the way media portrays it in movies and television. Usually, mental illness is not talked about until something bad happens, like mass shootings, school shootings, acts of terrorism, violence, abuse, or suicide. One way this is changing is having real people talk about their experiences with mental illness. Celebrities have begun to speak up, including Big Bang Theory's Mayim Bialik and singer Mariah Carey.
You are not alone. Online communities, like TheMighty, offer support and can help you talk about your struggle with loved ones. Let's break down the stigma together, one person at a time.