Make Believe Pretending

Did you ever play make believe as a child?  Dressing up in costumes, pretending to be something that you weren’t?  Perhaps it was a job that you wanted to do, such as a fireman or policeman, a builder or a businessman.  Maybe it was a fictitious character, such as Frodo Baggins or Gandalf, Luke Skywalker or Han Solo.  (Yes, you can see where my interests lie!)

GandalfPretending to be someone or something else was always fun.  It was something done frequently in our house.  Legendary warriors on mythical quests, Jedi fighting battalions of battle droids, whatever we were doing it was always something we enjoyed.  I’m sure you enjoyed it too if you did that as a child.

But what’s my point?  Why am I telling you about make believe?  Quite simply, I want to ask you a question: are we still pretending?

Pretending Now

Are we still pretending today?  Not the sort of make believe pretending that we did as children but one of a much more serious nature.  Instead of pretending to be hobbits or wizards, monsters or Jedi, people pretend that things don’t exist.  Depression, anxiety, bipolar, even things like homosexuality.  People simply adopt the mindset that they don’t exist.

Given how often we see or hear about these things in the news, I can imagine you’re wondering whether I’ve lost the plot somewhere.  How can I say that people pretend that things like mental illness and homosexuality don’t exist?  Quite simply: how often do they deny it?  How often do we see people pretend not to see something or acknowledge something that they don’t want to see or acknowledge?

Take this interview, for example.  Christian theologian and pop star Vicky Beeching recently came out as gay – something that is quite shocking for a lot of Christians, as homosexuality isn’t Biblical.  Check out the conversation between Vicky and evangelical pastor Scott Lively.

As you can see, Scott Lively refuses to acknowledge that homosexuality is a real thing.  He clearly labels it as a lie at 3:24, refusing to agree that homosexuality might be something real.  Now, this site wasn’t set up for combating the issues surrounding homosexuality but I think the same concept applies.

People are pretending.

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Mental Health and Pretence

In the world today, I see far too many occurrences of people pretending that mental health doesn’t exist.  Phrases like “it’s all in your mind” are commonplace, and people don’t believe that mental health is an issue.  As mentioned in Stipulating Stigma, the world is rife with mental health stigmatisation and people treat mental health as inferior to physical health.

They are pretending that it isn’t a serious problem.

Moreover, they are pretending that it isn’t happening to them or to anyone they know.  They would rather bury their heads in the sand and deny it ever existed than to face the issues surrounding it.

Do you agree?  Is it something that you’ve noticed or would you say I’m blowing a minor issue out of proportion?  I’d be interested to hear your comments.

Stop Pretending

So ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to stop pretending.

That’s right: it’s time to stop pretending!

Mental health – depression, anxiety, bipolar, insomnia – are all real issues in our world today.  1 in 4 people in the UK are diagnosed with some form of mental illness.  If that isn’t a major problem, what is?

So let’s take action.

Let’s stop pretending!

Let’s end the stigma and bring acceptance to mental health sufferers around the world.

We can do this!

It’s time.

So let’s stop pretending, let’s take action and let’s bring an end to the stigmatisation of mental health once and for all.  It’s not happening to someone else, it’s not a problem for someone else to deal with, it’s something for us.  We have to do it.  It’s our responsibility.  Ours alone.

You and Me.

Let’s stop pretending and make the change.

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Become a PatronDisclaimer: I am not an expert, nor am I medically qualified.  This blog is based on my personal experiences only.  Always seek medical advice in the first instance.

Author: Alex Davies

Alex Davies is the creator and writer for Pushing Back the Shadows. Find out more about his journey here and connect with him on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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