The wellness (industry) approach to mental health is beneficial to maintaining your mental health. The problem is that when it comes to addressing mental illness, it's like scrubbing a griddle with a feather.

A (longish) thread
Exercise, friendships, diet, interests are all great ways to help maintain good mental health or managing dips in your mental wellbeing. But when you're deep into mental illness, going for a walk or having a chat with a friend, are nice, but they are not treatment
They could very well be part of your recovery, but alone they are often useless. And this is my biggest gripe, the things that are touted as "the easy way" are often just not possible for people with deep trauma & long term illness. The wellness approach is often very shaming
"Wellness" is rife with toxic positivity. It doesn't consider those who its "simple" things are littered with often insurmountable obstacles. It just says "here are the things everyone can do.. go for a walk, think a certain way" but then goes to shame anyone that can't
"oh you just don't want to get better"
"It's so easy anyone can do it"
These are just 2 examples of the exclusionary and shaming lines that often get thrown about without a thought for the obstacles those suffering with mental illness face
But this was an inevitable trajectory. Wellness is a business. It needs to appeal to as many people as possible and more importantly, as many people with resources as possible. It's not for those that can't, it's for those that can.
This is why I stress time and time again. We need to stop putting the focus on mental health and start taking about mental illness.
You may think it's language semantics, but it's not.
Talking about about mental health is absolutely necessary & I welcome the increasing openness we now experience. But the conversation around maintaining good mental health too often excludes those that don't feel they can participate or do the "simple" things that are touted
But if the conversation was about mental illness, and educated those that are just starting to experience mental illness or those that are fortunately yet to experience it what mental illness looks like, it immediately becomes more accessible to those with lived experience
It creates a more relatable, welcoming and safe space for sufferers and positions the conversation in a much better place to support and provide access and resources to effect lasting change.
Talking about mental illness & not just about maintaining mental health, removes barriers many face about taking part in conversations because they feel they are being seen. That their struggle is recognised, rather than being shamed for not being able to "practice wellness"
I don't know if this makes sense to anyone else, or just to me. Or even if my whole point is flawed. All I know that as a long term sufferer of mental illness, I have felt the shame of not being able to "change my perspective" or "talk to friends" for example
But when the conversation has been about mental illness, I instantly feel like I'm being recognised and that my experience will add value to the conversation rather than feeling like my challenges exclude me from it.

Thank you for your time 🙏

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