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Ever heard words like these directed your way? Expressions such as " Hey, dummy, get your head on straight." Or maybe "You're psycho!" Or perhaps "Give your head a shake, you crazy so and so."

Ever said things such as " You need a trip to the loony bin." Or "You're out of your head, you whack job."

Admit it, we all have.

Perhaps at times those expressions seem innocuous, but they're just as damaging to the ill person as calling someone in a wheel chair a "gimp" or a person who wears glasses "four eyes."

People who have hearing problems wear hearing aids. No problem. No one cares. People who have broken limbs wear casts or use crutches. No big deal.

But those of us with mental illnesses can hide the problems, most of the time, and get away with it. Others may think of us as "normal" (whatever the heck that means) or "well-adjusted" (ha! there's another good one.) But inside, we feel the pressure, the pain, the anguish, the hurts, the slights, the self-doubts and the anxieties.

We take pills. We keep to ourselves. We go on rampages and shoot people. We drink too much.

According to a piece published by Metro News on May 5th of this year, one in five Canadians are affected by some form of mental illness. That's 20 percent of the population.

Metro News reports that mental illness is the second leading cause of disability and premature death (often by suicide) and costs Canadians roughly 50 Billion ( that's with a B, people.) dollars a year.

Sure is fun to be crazy, isn't it?

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