Every year, more than 43 million Americans deal with mental illness, but only 41% seek assistance. Mental Health Awareness Week starts todayHere’s how you can surmount the stigma and find help.

CNN October 6, 2019

Other sources report that 1 person in 5 suffers a form of mental illness.

59%, over 24,000,000 Americans do NOT take medications to help them through their lives. 24,000,001 if you include the President.

There are so many forms of mental illness. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, agoraphobia, right through to full on psychotic breakdowns.

The odds are very high that one in 7 people you know suffer and yet you probably have not noticed. I know 7 people, they are all quite normal, so it must be me.

The five most common mental health disorders include:

  • depression
  • anxiety
  • eating disorders
  • substance abuse, and
  • attention deficit disorder ADD/ADHD

‘I Had a Black Dog’ is a comic, fun and heart wrenching story about one man called Joe and his own struggle with the multifaceted entity known as depressive disorder. Originally written by Matthew Johnstone, an artist, writer and photographer, the book is a radical and humane departure from the traditional self help format of many books about mental health and illness. Sometimes we need to NOT be advised in an overt manner; rather we need to walk alongside somebody who just ‘knows’ and this book (alongside the theatrical version in development) is just that. Acknowledging that depression can mess with a persons ability to ingest and digest information-although intellect is left intact- the book offers non patronising and intelligent pictorial depictions of the ways in which thought, affect and feeling can all be warped by the illness. This is as important for carers, friends and relatives to understand as it is for the ill person to know he has been understood.


So, try to be understanding of anyone who suffers quietly. And try to help those who make it obvious they need a psychiatrist or a medication.

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