People are all too happy to tell you about their coughs and colds and aches and pains, but when it comes to mental health problems in the past it has been seen as something to be ashamed of, a secret illness not spoken about by the sufferer or by those close to them.
I know plenty of people who have or are going through difficulties with their mental health and some are too frightened to face the fact that they are unwell let alone trust someone enough to open up about it.
It must be so isolating to be locked inside your mind with your demons, unable to get the help needed to find the key to unlocking and facing them.
So why is it so difficult to speak out if you are having mental health worries? I suppose there is a feeling that you will be judged, thought of as crazy or unhinged, which may have been how mental health illness was portrayed up to now by some, but with so many people having the misfortune of being exposed to it, either themselves or through those close to them, and celebrities coming forward as sufferers hopefully it will enable us to speak more openly about our experiences.
I feel it is important that we all show more compassion towards anyone who talks to us about their state of mind. It will have taken great courage to do so and I think with the help of high profile celebrities like Stephen Fry speaking out about their own mental health issues, the world is becoming a bit more aware of these unspoken illnesses of the mind and with that more empathetic to that person bravely fighting their personal battle.
What Is Stigma from timetochange.org.uk