It is mental illness awareness week October 6-12 and so I thought before World Mental Health day Oct 10 I would write a post about mental illness.
And you know I have been in an emotional and mental funk lately. I blame it on the time of year. Always seems to hit this time of year even though I know there are external factors and health factors that are contributing to it. Sometimes with mental illness, even treated, we have to deal with these slumps and find ways to try and stabilize ourselves. I know my darker cynical self is showing itself because I have been reading this free self-help book I had gotten with my tablet. And I hate it. Loathe it maybe is a better term. It is inane, useless brain fluff. It is positivity wrapped in crap. And I know if I were not in this slump I would likely think something similar but maybe get something from it… maybe but I wouldn’t be so brutally dark when I think about how asinine it is. And that is how your brain begins to roll… on the dark side.
Things not to say to someone with a mental illness
- You’re crazy. And therefore I will avoid you because crazy people are unpredictable.
- You just do not want to participate in society so you are avoiding life.
- You’re lazy
- Just smile more
- Just be more positive about your life and it will change. Like send out some care bear stare happy vibes or something. And then like positiveness will absorb into you.
- Mental illness doesn’t even exist. It is just a social construct so you just need to engage in the world more. This shitty shitty world that is likely adding to your misery… engage in that crapstorm more.
- Pray more. And I will pray for you. And a whole lot of praying will go on. And if that doesn’t work… you didn’t pray enough.
- Can’t you just Try to be Happy?
- Maybe it is just your personality. Maybe you are just a melancholy person. Maybe you are just a nervous anxious sort of person.
- You’re weak. And if you need help then you are even weaker. Fix yourself.
- The universe gives you what you ask for. You just have to will good things for yourself. So stop what You are doing and Will good things. I mean, really.
- I feel anxious sometimes. Or a little blue. We all do. You’re not special. Just snap out of it. Have a bath or something. Have you tried… yoga?
- You think you’re special? No one is happy. Suck it up. Grow up. And be miserable like the rest of us.
But seriously mental illness stigma is pervasive
I knew a co-worker that was called behind her back as lazy and crazy and abusing the system… because of her Major Depressive Disorder. And imagine how that made me feel being seriously depressed as well… like I was weak and needed to handle it myself. Which I did… for a time… but all things break eventually.
I have Major Depressive Disorder. I have had two major episodes of it in my lifetime and currently in one being treated by medication. And I am not ashamed of it. I know much of it has to do with chronic pain and coping with pain and all its aspects. And some of it is just me and genetics and other factors. Either way, it is a beast of a disease to have. It lies and it deceives and it steals a lot of your life.
We beat ourselves up a lot. And we internalize the stigma we come across easily because we already beat ourselves up… so that stigma just adds onto what we already think must be true. We do not need people’s stigma. We already do it to ourselves. But, hey, thanks for making it worse. Loads of help that is.
So we need to talk about awareness during these times. So people grasp that mental illness isn’t something we control. It is a rough ride and a very hard battle. We didn’t choose this hell. And we do not appreciate people making it worse either.
Be there for someone. Listen. Just listen. Maybe you don’t get it. But at least you are there for them and that means more than you will ever comprehend.
Mental illness stigma thoughts
Self-stigma- the story we tell ourselves often isn’t true
Mental illness: The eternal return
This caught my eye- for maybe someone who is new to depression from the reviews. But still, it did catch my eye.