An Open Letter to the Villains

In life we come across both kind and nasty people. I tend to focus on the positive people; the people that make you laugh until your stomach hurts, the people that make you grin from ear to ear, the people that make you feel wanted and loved. They’re the good guys, they’re the heroes of the everyday world. But just like in fairytales with every hero comes a villain. We encounter villain’s throughout our time on earth, unfortunately it’s part of life.

I have anxiety and depression. They’re two illnesses I’ve been dealing with for a fair few years now and I’m not alone in that. It is estimated that 1 in 9 people will suffer from an anxiety disorder during their lifetime. Depression affects over 450’000 people in Ireland at any one time, that’s 1 in 10 people. We are not alone in this. There are so many of us with these illnesses. Unfortunately there are still some people that disrespect us, hate on us, mock us and dismiss our illnesses.

As I write this on October 30th 2016 I have just been called a “psycho with fake illnesses”, does that mean all those other people across the country are the same? Are we all just making it up? Is it all just attention seeking? No, no it’s not. Mental illness is real. Just because you can’t physically see it doesn’t mean it isn’t real. You wouldn’t pick on someone with a broken leg, you wouldn’t mock someone with a chest infection and you wouldn’t ever dare tell someone with cancer that they’re just seeking attention, would you? Then why do the same with mental illnesses. In 2015 there were 451 recorded suicides around Ireland. Those 451 people weren’t selfish or looking for attention, they were suffering, just like the hundreds of people dealing with mental health problems in Ireland today.

It’s time for you villains, you haters, you disrespected and ill educated people to open your eyes and cop on. Mental illness is a real thing. You people that think it’s okay to diss it are horrific. Your cruel words and horrific opinions will never win.

We will stand up to these people. We will stick together and show them that their cruel words will never win. We will support one another during the times when the trolls strike. We will push their cruel words away. And in the wise words of the late David Bowie “we can be heroes.”

So to the person that called me a “psycho with fake illnesses” today, thank you. Your foolish words and nasty opinion inspired me to write this post and to fight back. And by the way I’m a daughter, a best friend, a journalism student, a charity worker, a freelance journalist and a features editor, as well as many other things, fighting a very brave battle against two mental illnesses and winning.

Sincerely Yours,

Kat.

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