Silhoutte of desperate teenager praying on abstract backgroundLet me start by saying that if you see the world in black and white, then you may need to stop reading now. We live in a time where are judged for everything and where people are superficial. We are judged on what clothes we wear, our looks, what friends we have, what cars we drive, and so much more. These are choices that we make but we are also judged on things that we have no control over. We are judged on the color of our skin, our body type, our sexual orientation, mental disorders, and physical attributes. We all have at least one thing “wrong” with us so the way I see it, none of us have the right to judge anyone else, especially when it comes to things that we cannot change. None of us are untouched by imperfection. To judge someone is cruel and superficial, but to judge uncontrollable circumstances is just distasteful and childish. People see what they want to see and what they don’t see is the story behind the person that they are judging. One common misconception often judged is mental health. If a person suffers from depression, they are often viewed as weak minded. If a child has a learning disorder, they are sometimes seen as dumb or stupid. If a person has a mental disorder, people assume they are “slow”. Well, anyone who believes these misconceptions should  meet and get to know a few of the people these judgments are being made on. If a child is diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyper Disorder) people often say that the child has not been disciplined enough or correctly or that the child just needs better discipline. Here’s a medical fact for you. ADHD is a hereditary trait passed from generation to generation. A child who suffers from ADHD often has a parent who also has it. When a person suffers from depression, some people will say that they are weak and need to suck it up and get over it. Well, from what I have seen, We have ALL experienced depression in our life at one point or another. Nobody has a perfect, problem free life. Some people just get more depressed than others. That does not make them weak. If anything, it shows that they feel more deeply than others. From the time of conception, there are certain things that are hard wired into our brains. We all think differently. We all feel differently. We all look different. We are all people! These traits and personalities make us who we are. Some of us are more susceptible to depression just like some of us are more prone to being born with a handicap. Although there are ways to cope with these things to make them easier to live with, they are part of our DNA and we cannot change them. Someone who suffers from bipolar disorder does not choose to be bipolar. In fact, most would choose anything but bipolar. It’s a chemical imbalance in their brain, as with most mental disorders. People who are diagnosed with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) are often judged as being “clean freaks” or “too picky” when in fact, their brains are wired to think that certain things have to be done a certain way or a certain order. When something is different from the way their brain tells them it should be, it causes extreme anxiety. People with OCD often suffer from anxiety attacks as well. If you have ever witnessed someone having a panic or anxiety attack then you know that the anxiety is very real and medically scary. Mental illness is just as common as physical illness. I tell my kids on a regular basis not to judge anyone for anything because you have no idea what that person has been through or why they are a certain way. I tell them that people are who they are but at the end of the day, we are people. People with lives, people with problems, people with stories, and people with feelings. So be who you are and lets others be who they are!

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