I Have a Dream for People With Mental Illness
It’s unfortunate that after all these years, it seems we are back tracking and doomed to repeat history. I don’t know about you, but the current events around the world have been bringing me down. Stories of bias and prejudice, judgement based on the color of our skin, our religion, our nationality, our sex, our sexuality, our jobs and now our illnesses; specifically mental illnesses. These injustices continue to pervade out society and have created fear. This is the time of war; a war on preconceived notions and ignorance. Let us continue to take a page from Martin Luther King Jr.’s book and push for a peaceful revolution not just to get rid of racial, ethnic and religious bias, but also the stigma of mental illness. Remembering the courageous words of Martin Luther King Jr from his “I Have a Dream” speech, I have come up with my own dreams for those living with mental illness:
I have a dream that one day I will not be discriminated against because of my mental illness.
I have a dream that one day I can be open about my illness to everyone including my employer.
I have a dream that one day hospitals and doctors will take me and my symptoms seriously.
I have a dream that doctors won’t push certain medications for their own monetary gain.
I have a dream that one day the media will not equate mental illness with violence.
I have a dream that one day all of Hollywood will portray mental illness accurately.
I have a dream that one day all people will see those living with a mental illness as an equal.
I have a dream that one day my mental illness will be seen as a sign of strength and not a weakness.
I have a dream that one day my normal emotions as a human being are not taken as symptoms.
I have a dream that one day that there will be plenty of beds in the hospitals for those who need them.
I have a dream that one day I won’t have five different case managers in less than a year.
I have a dream that one day mental illness medication won’t cause horrific side effects.
I have a dream that one day filing for disability will be an easier and faster process than it is now.
I have a dream that those with disabilities get paid the same as those without disabilities.
I have a dream that my children will be able to share their illnesses and not be condemned for them.
I have a dream that one day my children will be able to get help right away if they have a mental illness.
I have a dream that one day they will find a cure for mental illness so no one else has to suffer.
I have a dream that all people, regardless of their differences, will be accepted.
It is our differences that make us strong. So continue to fight peacefully for change in our society. For change in views on mental illness. This can be done in small ways, like writing for organizations like The Mighty, The International Bipolar Foundation, the National Alliance on Mental Illness and others. Every little bit we write can change how society views people who are different. Little by little, we can change the world.
Like Martin Luther King Jr said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
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Thinkstock photo via lolostock