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A Mental Note

Updated on September 3, 2014

Ask me about it...

Mental health awareness

I have been asked what my reasoning is, or was, for getting my tattoo. From the moment my son was diagnosed, I knew I wanted to do something to bring mental illness into the limelight. Mental illness is an 'invisible' illness, and because it cannot be seen, many people are not aware of the struggles and pains of the individuals, living with mental health issues. I wear my tattoo in the hope that people will ask me about it, in the hope that it will not only bring about awareness, but that it will bring about change, and end the stigma that often accompanies mental illness. No one can know what someone else is enduring, struggling with, or living with, by looking at them. Oftentimes, it is the stigma, the fear of being judged, or misjudged, that does not or will not, allow the individuals living with mental illness, to seek the help that is needed. This is not acceptable to me because mental illness, as with any other illness, isn't anything to be ashamed of.

Not being aware of, not being knowledgeable, or being afraid of something, shouldn't be a reason or excuse, for shaming, blaming, or judging anyone. We all have our own issues, opinions, and ideas, and many are living with or fighting his or her own, personal battles - whatever they may be. I love my son and I admire the strength with which it takes, for him, and others like him, to live with the stigma that often accompanies mental illness. Recieving a diagnosis is only part of the battle. Recieving and obtaining the necessary help, is difficult in and of itself, fearing the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, leaves many with feelings of shame or embarrassment, which can contribute to why those with mental health issues do not seek help. I want to be part of the solution not part of the problem. So ask me about it...

The lime green ribbon is meant to bring mental illness into the limelight, while the dragonfly is meant to represent change and transformation. The dragonfly's eyes, which are 80% of its brain power, allow it to see 360 degrees - symbolizing the unlimited vision of the mind and the ability to see beyond the scope and limitations of the human self. Perhaps giving one the ability to break free of the misconceptions and ideas of what others have told you about your potential, or what you have told yourself - propelling you beyond the self created illusions, that can limit growth and development. Its iridescent wings are incredibly sensitive to the slightest breeze, reminding one to heed the proverbial wind, should you run into stormy weather. The 'magical' properties of the iridescence is associated with the discovery of ones own abilities to skillfully maneuver through the winds of change, unmasking the 'real self' and removing self doubt, leading to mental and emotional maturity, self discovery, and transformation.


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      Raquelpier 3 years ago

      So very true Rochelle! I have learned so much and have so much more to learn...

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 3 years ago from California Gold Country

      It is so human to judge and categorize people, but also so wrong. It is our way of trying to understand things. We can only discern a bit of each being. People are so incredibly complex ... truly 'individual', even though there are so many of us.