Images of Mental Illness

I have to admit I am not the most mild mannered person in the world and for people reading this who know me are probably saying "Really Andrea?  Would have never guessed!"  lol  …er…anyway, my point is that I just get so darn worked up when I stumble upon images of stigma that are so apparent  in this world and they grossly exist in our society without notice.  It is not the people unaware that anger me so much but the stigmatized ideas that have been formed around the topic of mental illness.   When we say the words 'mental illness' no doubt certain images come to mind.  Quite often those images are not pleasant and in speaking with others I have conjured up a few to share with you.

Pictures of homeless people disheveled and begging on the streets, skipping over to images of evilness that scowl in hopes of instilling a brimming fear in the onlooker…the glare of a criminal and the classic person suited up in a straight jacket behind bars screaming to be released.

Then we  observe the media and if someone has a 'freak out' on the news, then automatically people assume the individual has a mental illness and even if they do, the entire story is often grossly misconstrued.  I asked a kid once who do you think of when I say mental illness, he said the joker from Batman! 

Mental illness is not the face of a stalking sociopath out to track you down and harm you, but consider could it often be as simple as looking at a young beautiful girl's face knowing she is the image of mental illness, and she was born with her disorder by no fault of her own.  It may be trite to say but true to admit that the face of mental illness may even be your sister, father, someone you love and it may even be you.