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Mental Health Crisis – Rosalynn Carter

Here’s an interesting interview from Time. Rosalynn Carter, first lady and mental health proponent, answers some questions.

I do think the big two reasons so many people avoid treatment are shame and financial. Shame, from the reactions of others and stigma being mentally ill generates, and financial because, well, it’s really expensive. Drugs alone can run hundreds of dollars a month. Mine run about $100 – and that’s with very good insurance. That’s a huge chunk of change if you are living hand to mouth every month.

There seems to be a self-stigma, as well. It’s all in our minds, right? I do believe that to a large extent happiness is a choice – which may be an odd opinion for someone whose illness is the opposite. The fact remains that a large portion of most people’s emotions are under their control…to some degree. Sadly, it’s not true for everyone, and assumptions of folks at large can be as damaging as any self-inflicted suicidal thoughts.

Awareness is good. Mental health is a complicated thing to say the least, made more so by societal standards, self-perception, and the medical and insurance machines. All this red tape and outside pressure mean just one thing, at least for me: self-awareness and self-mindfulness is all the more precious to strive for.

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