2:25 PM Lately, I really bloom and feel happy when I write about mental health, but there have been days, especially times, where writing or even talking about it was not fun at all. 
I have to admit, openly talking about it in real life (offline) is still hard for me... I find myself being more confident online, especially because I can support my thoughts, my story, and some inspiration via art. 
When I talk to people, face to face, I still have no idea to really approach this topic, because every human being reacts differently to it. 

Unfortunately, most of the people react weird when I open up and share my experiences + my story. I get to see and experience shocked and uncomfortable faces, long pauses, or people immediately telling me what to do because they believe they know better. 

Most of the time, people even try to tell me that I have no depression or anxiety, "I just act a bit too dramatic and I need to chill."
With different reactions, I feel like people either way don't take me seriously, or they just don't know better how to approach to this. 

So what I am currently doing is feeling deeply, when opening up - making the opposite feeling as comfortable as possible, so that this topic is less arrousing and shocking. Sounds funny, but that's how I am dealing with this topic the last year or such. Today, I ask myself why I need to be the one who is protecting the opposite who finally gets to understand me, my moods, and my bad days. 

Why do I need protect people from a truth, a problem, and a health issue which the state is not taking care of? 

I believe people with mental health issues are not the ones who need to protect others around them to not hear the truth about this "problem". I know it's hard to learn the truth and to hear stories that don't leave a nice vibe behind, but when feeling uncomfortable, people may be more open to understand and learn about this issue. 

The state, society, actually the whole world is a little bit behind when it comes to mental health. There's an international stigma around this topic and one really needs to think twice if it's a good thing or a bad thing to talk about. 

Why are we talking about our bad sleep? Back pain, migraines, or sore muscles after a workout? Who cares if I didn't sleep well, because it was too hot last night? 
When I talk about my mental health - all of a sudden it gets weird for you...but why? "A topic I don't want to be confronted with. Ughhh, I don't know what to say.... TMI, next topic, please."


I want to reach out to all of you today to make clear that we need to stop stigmatising! Mental health is an important topic and it's not good to ignore this and push this further away from us. 
There are plenty of issues we are facing on this beautiful planet and unfortunately they are all branched somehow. If we don't stop one problem, the other problem won't go away.... they all depend on each other and also they depend on more open ears, eyes, and arms. 

It's time to speak openly about something that way too many suffer from. 
It's time to speak openly about something that leads to suicide and so much more pain.
It's time to speak openly about something that many of us carry in themselves, but they don't even know it. 

Okay, okay, let's talk. Let's stop stigmatising. 
But how? 
How can we start a nice conversation without hurting anyone, just being open, and impartial? 
Well, here are some ways. 

1. The reason why so many are scared of this topic is how it is approached to in the media. Let's be honest, today, human beings consume a loooot of media and no matter if we see some things online, read a  magazine, or watch TV, mental health doesn't get the right portrayal it deserves. Take care of what kind of media you consume. If you see a movie, for example, where they present a person with mental health issues as a more "negative being", don't believe that this is the truth - movies are just movies and we need to be grown and intelligent enough to understand what is wrong and what is right! Don't believe everything you see and read - if you want to understand things further, feel free to do your own research to see if the media maybe forgot to share all the important info or at least another perspective. 

2. Talk to your local government, people who work in the health sector, and just reach out to influential people who can spread a message to a bigger audience. I have written many mails and letters to politicians talking about mental health and what things I like to change in today's society. I am complaining a lot, but unfortunately, I am not having the power to change laws - politicians can. They have the power to change things, so let's pull out a paper and get a pen to write a message with a deep meaning. 

3. Reach out to newspapers and ask if they can cover more topics that deal with health problems etc. Give them some ideas or input and maybe they will feel inspired to include more topics that are usually being ignored. I know this might be tough - if they say no, then at least you've tried... 

4. Start with the people around you. Family, friends, co-workers, people you trust and love. Ask them what they know about mental health. Share own experiences or ask how they think about their health. Start a sweet dialog - this doesn't need to feel uncomfortable. 

5. At school, reach out to teachers, or even start a club where you welcome kids of all ages to come and share their stories. One reason why mental health is a big problem in schools is because there's no chance to communicate the problems. I never had the opportunity to talk to my teachers or having someone who would support me.... we need a lot of understanding and mostly support for kids to feel safe at school! This is the perfect place to start stop stigmatising!

6. Doctors should be more open to their patients as well! (I can only talk about my own experience here, but I guess I'm not the only one experiencing this....). My doctor knows about my lifestyle, my stress, and my issues. and he never suggested me to go see a therapist, or changing my lifestyle! I was the one who taught myself that food is a major part for my depression - how come someone can't tell me that, even though he studied this forever? I don't want to be disrespectul against doctors, but pleaaaase start caring about your patients more. Listen and explain (it all). Health shouldn't be a crazy money making machine thing - let's focus on real healing here! 

7. This is definitely one of the most important points. Depression, anxiety, or burnout, don't stop when reaching 25 or 35, mental health issues are appearing throughout all age groups, and what's even more horrible is dealing with a disease while making money to pay your rent, food, and maybe you are taking care of a family. Our job should be a place to feel comfortable and safe and that's why I urge all companies, big or small, to finally create the PERFECT working atmosphere. No prejudices, no mobbing, no firing, no nothing. Mental health issues are not a reason to be fired. Mental health issues can be worked on and companies need to help their employees to have a more balanced and stress-free work life. 

There are many areas of our daily lives where we can start making mental health a super easy topic. Start a dialog and learn about all of the aspects! Maybe you will find out that you have suffered from certain issues as well! With all the knowledge we can get through the best education and info sourcing, we are able to not only help us or prevent horrible situations from ourselves, but we can also help friends and loved ones who don't know what to do. 
People are still scared to go and see a therapist and so they rather harm themselves or even think about suicide. 

Know that we have the power to change the world and it's up to us to make this place a more beautiful place where everyone can live freely with plenty of understanding of anything that happens around us. Without judging and categorizing. 
What a wonderful world this could be.... 

It can be our future if we work together now. 
So please inhale these ideas and be the brave one who takes the first step. 
Thank you!!🤍