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I'm not FINE. And it's ok.

How many of us have said the words "I'm fine" when someone asked us how we are when really we aren't? I'm sure if you're honest, you done that before. In a society that teaches us to "grin and bear" it or that showing emotion is a sign of weakness, we've created an environment that makes it difficult for people to be honest about what they're going through.

There has been a significant increase in the past few years of suicides, not just among adults, but also youth. So many people are hurting and dealing with things that many of us are unaware. Several famous people have come forward and been transparent about their struggles with mental illness and help reduce the stigma associated with it. As a mental health professional, I hear everyday about the embarrassment clients feel about about seeking help. They don't want to be labeled as "crazy" by other people. Our communities are filled with people suffering from past and present traumas. It's not just famous people who need to speak up, but the rest of us who are dealing with this in our own communities. We have to be a part of the solution to help remove the stigma and make it more comfortable for people who struggling with pain to get the help they need.

If you are struggling with depression, anxiety, or trauma, it's time to seek help from a professional and stop the hurting. When something is wrong with you physically, you see a doctor and will take medication and follow the treatment plan you are given. The same should be true for emotional ailments. Don't allow someone else's ignorance to keep you from getting the help you need. If someone you know is struggling with these things, you may not understand what they are dealing with, but you can support and encourage them to get help.

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