Recognize Your Damage For What It Is

Alexander Shustov
Alexander Shustov

I believe that everyone is damaged in some way. But the worst will always be those who refrain from recognizing their damage for what it is. May it be lack of self-awareness or a mere way to cope, I know a few people who seem to reject the thought that they have a problem, even though everyone else sees right through them.

The truth is no one can blame them. Dealing with mental illness is not as easy as counting from one to ten. Acceptance is hard; it probably is the hardest step of all. It doesn’t happen overnight. More often, it will take a real while. But you can’t solve a problem without accepting that there is a problem. You can’t save someone that thinks he doesn’t need fixing.

But here’s a question: why do people refuse to acknowledge the problem? More often, it’s not that they don’t see the signs. It’s not lack of self-awareness. It’s that they don’t want to believe that they are sick. It’s that they don’t want other people to know that they’re sick. It’s the stigma this ever-so discriminating society burdens us with.

How other people continue to single out those diagnosed with mental disorders because of their black-and-white thinking that mentally-ill people are either fakers or dangers to society. We should know better; we should understand that these aren’t always the case.

This is why I personally advocate for a change of perspective. As much as possible, I try to look at mental illness as just that—an illness. Not a personality trait. Not a definitive factor. But a health issue that needs to be addressed. A problem that ought to be solved.

This is not an attempt to normalize something that is not, but rather, to put the issue into the context where it should be in. It’s never wrong to acknowledge your damage. After all, it is the first step towards healing. TC mark

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