I am sure that we all have friends and family who don’t understand what we are going through or even understand what mental illness is like. This is something which I can definitely relate to. As soon as I think someone understands they say something or do something and its back to square one. I really think this is something those people who don’t understand will benefit from and understand why it can be hard to speak to people.. even though they always say ‘I am here to listen’.
Everyone is different
No two people are the same when it comes to mental health, we all deal with things in different ways and all have our own triggers. So by saying you know someone who was fine as soon as they did certain things doesn’t mean it will work the same. We might all feel the same deep down… alone, no-one cares and hate ourselves. But are not the same, just like twins.
We can’t just snap out of it
We wish we could, but if it was that easy we wouldn’t have to do so much hard work to get ourselves through each day. Just because we smile for a minute or two doesn’t mean its gone. I wish I was able to snap out of it, my life would be so much easier. So telling us to snap out of it makes us more frustrated than anything.
Self harm is not attention seeking
I have friends in the past say this to me and it is not something that is ever easy to hear. It makes you feel twice as bad, as you just want to take some pain away and if anything you can control what you do and where. Never judge anyone on the fact they have hurt themselves. It is not all cutting, it can be anything from punching yourself. It is all about relieving pain or helping with distressing thoughts, it can even be a way of stopping people from doing more extreme such as taking an overdose. A lot of the time we don’t even want to talk to people about this and we keep it well hidden.
I am not crazy
As soon as you say you suffer with mental health people seem to think your crazy or mad and the truth is that we are not crazy, we are just like most people but suffer with coping with things at times. It just means that we may have more anxiety than most people. 1 in 4 people suffer with mental health so if you mark us all ‘crazy’ that’s a lot of crazy people out there! The majority of people who experience mental health problems can recover or learn to live with them. Stigmatising language such as this can prevent people from getting the help they need at the right time.
It’s not your fault
Just because we may be a little bit snappy or feel as though we are quiet, this doesn’t mean we think any different of you. It isn’t that we have ‘fallen’ out with you or you have ‘annoyed’ us it is just that we may have a lot going off. Mental health can cause people to withdraw… this is something that I do when I am struggling. Shutting the world off can be easier than facing it.
“That if I’m grumpy or uncomfortable around you, don’t take it personally, it’s not about you. I have anxiety, I’m like this around everyone”
Talking is something that can help with mental health, even if we aren’t very vocal talking can help us to focus on something else than the struggles and thought we have. This is the best way for us to maybe shed a little bit of light on what we are going through, just don’t push us to speak if we don’t want to… it could still be a little but sore.
Don’t kick us while we are down
Most of us will need to be picked up, so dont be negative to us as it is very easy for us to feel put down. It is so easy to bring us down as we become very senstive and something you may of said in jest could result in us beating ourselves up for days! You need to think about positives to talk to us… maybe something which is coming up or just saying how nice we look today (but mean it).
Even though I look fine we’re not
If we look all smiles or more put together than normal or even we look the same, the illness is still there. This illness is invisible so just because it can’t be seen doesn’t mean it isn’t there. So please don’t ever think we are ‘putting’ it on, we are normally just struggling in silence or just trying to cover up more than normal.
Not all wounds are visible.
It affects us physically
Even though when people think of mental health it’s all in the mind, well to be very honest it affects us physically aswell whether it is that we have no get up and go, we feel tired and ache all over, our skin becomes worse. It affects more of us physically than you would ever think.. we could gain or lose weight. So mental health is more than just our mind.
It is not just about being sad
Mental health is more than just feeling sad or teary. Mental health can be waking up in the middle of the night sweating in the middle of a panic attack and not knowing why. It can be going to work and feeling as though you need to put on a smile because you don’t want people to see that you are broken. Mental health can be a huge variety of things, I would say a common one is having social anxiety and feeling so alone because you don’t even know why you feel the way you do. I could go on forever but we will come back to this another time.