Health

This Woman Bravely Calls Out Mental Health Stigmas In Powerful Photos

April 8th 2016

By:
Taylor Bell

One woman's Facebook post is receiving a lot of attention for calling out stigmas surrounding mental health and exposing what's it really like to live with a mental illness.

A U.K. woman named Amber Smith posted two pictures of herself on Sunday with a message detailing her struggle with panic disorder and criticizing society's negative perception about mental health.

God knows why I'm doing this, but people need some home truths..Top picture: What I showcase to the world via social...

Posted by Amber Smith on Sunday, April 3, 2016

The first picture shows Smith dolled up in heavy makeup and striking the perfect selfie.

Amber Smith-Facebook

But in the second picture, Smith is clearly distressed. The image shows Smith just moments after she had a panic attack.

Amber Smith-Facebook

The contrasted photos are meant to illustrate Smith's secret pain and to break down stereotypes and stigmas about people living with mental health disorders.

According to the Mental Health Foundation, 450 million people have a mental health illness, and 9 out 10 mental health sufferers say that the stigma around mental health and discrimination negatively impacts their lives.

Moreover, it is wrongly believed that people living with mental health illness are vulnerable, weak and unstable.

"I'm so sick of the fact that it's 2016 and there is still so much stigma around mental health. It disgusts me that so many people are so uneducated and judgemental over the topic. They say that 1 in 3 people will suffer with a mental illness at some point in their life. 1 in 3! Do you know how many people that equates to worldwide?! And yet I've been battling with anxiety and depression for years and years and there's still people that make comments like 'you'll get over it', 'you don't need tablets, just be happier', 'you're too young to suffer with that'"

She continued:

"FUCK YOU. Fuck all of you small minded people that think that because I physically look 'fine' that I'm not battling a monster inside my head every single day."

Smith also pointed out that mental health impacts everyone, no matter the age. In fact, 20 percent of people ages 13 to 18 live with a mental health condition according to National Alliance on Mental Illness.

"Someone actually said this to me one day 'aren't you too young to be suffering with anxiety and depression? What do you actually have to be depressed about at your age?' Wow, just wow."

Smith hopes that by sharing her personal struggle other people will be encouraged, noting that "the more awareness there is, the less people who will suffer in silence."

"To anyone who is going through the same, please do not suffer in silence. There is so much support around - Don't be scared to ask for help."