Sunday, April 2, 2017

These Before And After Photos Show What Mental Illness Can Look Like

We don't talk about mental illness enough to begin with but we never talk about what it looks like. There is a very physical side to mental illness that very few people realize and/or acknowledge. 

You can actually get physically sick from mental illness. It can keep you from eating and sleeping, give you aches, pains, and headaches, and then there are the tears and puffy eyes and screaming and shaking and the complete loss of control. 

No one talks about that. So this very brave girl decided it was time to show the world what mental illness can look like in an attempt to tear down the stigma even more.

1. At first glance she seems like a carefree, happy go lucky girl.

But Amber Smith has her own set of struggles.

2. Like many people, she lives with a secret she tries to hide.

18% of the American population suffers from some sort of anxiety disorder.

3. Amber falls into that 18%.

However, instead of being just another statistic, she is putting a face to the disorder to show that these are real people suffering — not just numbers.

4. It started with a Facebook post.

“God knows why I'm doing this, but people need some home truths.”

5. “Top picture:

What I showcase to the world via social media. Dressed up, make up done, filters galore. The 'normal' side to me.”

6. “Bottom picture:

 Taken tonight shortly after suffering from a panic attack because of my anxiety. Also the 'normal' side to me that most people don't see.”

7. Amber is tired of the stigma around mental health and wanted to do something to help bring truth and awareness.

“They say that 1 in 3 people will suffer with a mental illness at some point in their life. 1 in 3!"

8. “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'.”

9. Someone actually asked Amber what she had to be depressed and anxious about at her age.

What people don’t realize is that anyone can have a mental illness and there doesn’t have to be a reason for how they are feeling.

10. “I'm a strong person, I've been through my fair share of crap in life (the same as anyone else) and I will be okay."

“I have the best family and friends around me and I am thankful every day that they have the patience to help and support me."

11. Amber urges anyone going through the same thing as her to reach out.

With all the support available, no one should have to suffer in silence.

12. “This is why I can't stress enough that it costs nothing to be nice to others.

“Don't bully others, don't put others down and the hardest one of them all (as we have all done it at some point) don't judge another person. 

13. Amber wants people to build each other up instead of tear each other down.

Mental illness affects people regardless of age, gender, race, or religion.

14. After sharing her before and after photos, people started reaching out, thanking her for her bravery.

If 10% of Americans suffer from a mental illness that means that we all know at least one person who is battling.

15. Don’t be afraid to reach out for support from loved ones or see what services are available in your area.

The more we talk about mental health, the more we can do to help.

16. SHARE to show your support for those suffering from mental illness.

h/t Facebook / Amber Louise Smith


Author: verified_user