Watching the coverage today of he Connecticut elementary school, I started thinking about what we as a culture don’t mention enough: mental illness.
As things come to light about this horrible situation, mental illnesses will probably be both the cause and result of this tragedy. Mental illness is still taboo. Something not to be discussed publicly.
I am guilty of this, too. I avoid “those” sessions at the Conferences. I feel so selfish admitting this, but I sometimes don’t know if I can, or want, to deal with other people’s issues when I am still dealing with the ghosts of my own. Is that wrong of me to say, or think? Probably, but it is the truth.
Where do we go from here, both as a smaller Moebius syndrome community and as a larger culture? It is almost cliche at this point to say that we need to remove the stigma of mental health, but it is true. We need to improve access to mental health care for all people. I owe much of my success to an absurdly expensive therapist, paid out of pocket. Many people are not as fortunate.
We need to acknowledge that living with a visible difference can and does lead to unique issues, but not necessarily. And those issues are not insurmountable. It can, and does, get better.
I just wish these tragedies didn’t have to happen for these issues to come to light.