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stopcomparingThere is a difference between feeling sad and being clinically depressed. There is a difference between worry and an anxiety disorder. There is a difference between organized and OCD.

Excuse the tone of this blog post, but I’m a little frustrated.

Mental illness is not something that is relative, subjective, grey. It is an illness that impedes the function on daily living. It’s causes are both biological and environmental. The idea that “everyone feels sad” is said to someone who has clinical depression is the same as saying “everyone feels sick sometimes” to someone fighting cancer. It’s insensitive to say the very least.

We can all agree that there is no universal “normal” in the world. My grandmother told me once – normal was just a setting on a dryer. But we each have our own “normal”. We each have our own ability to function; and just like with our stomachs, backs, eyes and ears, we can tell when something is not right with our thoughts, feelings, and emotions.

So yes. There is no universal “normal”. But there are globally accepted signs, symptoms, diagnostic criteria and treatments for mental illnesses.

Mental illness is not grey.

My name is Erin and This is Where I Stand.