Sunday, 6 December 2015

I hate the phrase 'mental health.'

I hate the phrase 'mental health.'

I hate that we differentiate. Physical health? That's just health. No prefix needed. That's because physical healthcare is the healthcare that matters by default, whereas mental health needs to be put in its own little box. It's like it's not worthy of being categorised with 'real' health.

I hate that completely random illnesses are grouped and treated together under the mental health banner. Sure, some symptoms overlap- but I hear voices because I have complex PTSD, as opposed to hearing them because I have schizophrenia. It's a bit like how you might have a headache because you have failing eyesight, or you might have one because you have a brain tumour. Imagine being treated for poor eyesight in the same room even as someone is being treated for cancer.

I hate that there is only really one expected treatment path with mental illness and a lot of services won't touch you if you tick too many boxes, because they're not set up or funded for divergence from whatever the norm is thought to be. They're starved of attention and determined by their outcomes, punished in a way that physical health services aren't.

I hate that we talk about admitting we have a mental health condition. Admitting. Like it's a crime. I mean, I'm always much more afraid of telling someone I have mental health conditions than I am a physical ones. Somehow, saying I used to eat very little is worse than saying that I get migraines.

I hate that even the phrase is enough to send adults running for the hills. I have been asked to refrain from telling certain adults about my conditions. I am not ashamed, so don't you dare be ashamed of me.

I hate that, as a society, we forget that it's not only physical health problems that kill. That those heart attacks that seem to plague some, are often a consequence. That addiction kills. Eating disorders kill. Stress kills. Ignorance? I'd say that's one of the biggest killers.

I hate that people honestly think that it's possible the have any health without both mental and physical health.

And I really, really hate that people hear 'mental health' and immediately imagine some kind of personality deficiency that they don't associate with the word health, alone.


  1. Rebecca, you are so smart and informed... the world needs to be more educated like this... No one should be judged due any illness... the world needs more love and understanding... less fear and judgement ♡♡♡

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