21 Things You’ll Only Understand If You Live With A Mental Health Issue

December 26, 2017

Sometimes the hardest place to be is inside your own head.

From the well-meaning but frustrating advice to the unhelpful comments and lack of understanding, people who’ve never had to deal with the crushing hopelessness of depression or lived through the crippling horror of an anxiety attack just don’t get how life-altering and hard these mental health issues can be to live with.

And for those of us who do struggle with any form of mental illness, it’s often basically impossible to explain the complexities of our condition to those who either don’t have it, or don’t know anyone who does. When you do try to explain your condition to someone who doesn’t understand, they look at you as if you’re speaking another language.

If you’re someone who lives with any form of mental illnesses, from depression and anxiety to PTSD and borderline personality disorder, you’ll know all too well these relatable things; and you should also know you’re not alone. There are many others experiencing these exact same feelings and challenges…

1. You want to hang out with friends, but are too anxious to socialize.

2. You constantly think about how other people perceive you.

3. No matter much you succeed, your mental illness always makes you feel like a failure.

4. Getting out of bed is sometimes impossible. You just want to wrap yourself up in a blanket burrito and cry

5. Because of this, people often think you are lazy.

6. Trying to sleep is prime anxiety time.

7. Everything seems worse than it actually is.

8. Your thoughts make you feel like you’re crazy.

9. Sometimes, you have to hide your mental health issues.

10. Hanging out with family can be difficult because they don’t understand why you are depressed.

11. When you actually reach out to people for help, they give you unhelpful advice. Mental illness can’t be solved by exercise and ‘positive thinking’, Auntie Sharon.

12. You’re scared to tell your employers because may not understand.

13. You worry you’re a ‘bad friend’ because it’s sometimes hard to put in the effort when you are struggling with mental illness.

14. Every task is a little harder. Trying to go for that promotion or ask the boss for a pay rise feel like monumental tasks when your head is telling you how worthless you are.

15. Relationships can be difficult when it’s hard to talk about your feelings and they don’t understand.

16. Depression doesn’t always mean you want to commit suicide.

17. Sometimes you need to be alone – and that’s okay.

18. It’s different every day. Just because sometimes I can hang out with friends when depressed, doesn’t mean I’ll always want to.

19. You don’t want or need pity. In fact, this can often make things worse.

20. You know our own self-care and coping mechanisms like the back of your hands.

21. You’re more than your mental illness, and you’re not alone.

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