What is Mental Illness?
Mental illnesses are brain-based conditions that affect thinking, emotions, and behaviors. We all have brains— so since we all have brains, having some kind of mental health issue during your life is very common.
Us, who have a mental illness, we can’t help that our brains has changed in a way which makes it hard to think, feel, or act in ways that we want to. Experiencing extreme and unexpected changes in mood- like feeling more sad or worried than normal. Some mental illnesses makes it hard to communicate with someone who’s talking to them, or not being able to think clearly, or having bizarre thoughts to help explain weird feelings we’re having.
Clinical depression. The persistent feeling of sadness or loss of interest that’s characterizes major depression can lead to a range of behavioral and physical symptoms. These may include changes in sleep, appetite, energy level, concentration, self-esteem, or daily behavior. Depression can also be associated with thoughts of suicide.
Anxiety disorder. A mental health disorder characterized feelings of worry, anxiety, or fear that are strong enough to interfere with daily life. Examples of anxiety is panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
Bipolar disorder. A disorder linked with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs.
Schizophrenia. A disorder that effects a person’s ability to think, feel, and behave clearly.
Autism. A serious developmental disorder that impacts the ability to communicate and interact.
Post traumatic stress disorder. A disorder in which a person has difficulty recovering after experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. The condition may last months or years, with triggers that bring back memories of the trauma accompanied by intense emotional and physical reactions.
Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. A chronic condition including attention difficulty, hyperactive, and impulsiveness. It often starts in childhood and can persist in adulthood. Symptoms include limited attention and hyperactivity.
Just to name some severe, mental illnesses.
I really have been thinking about writing such thing… because a lot of people are quick to judge when people write about this specific topic. But it’s time to start talking about people who don’t understand what it actually means to struggle with depression, anxiety, and other diagnoses.
I don’t wish this on anyone. I do not wish a mental disorder on anyone. I don’t want major depression and anxiety, and to feel like I’m being judged for overreacting because I overthink everything that happens to me. Making jokes about mental disorders… is not at all funny, it’s not at all a joke. So please don’t make fun of mental disorders. How would it feel if someone made fun of your “diabetes” or “cancer,” symptoms or feelings? How would it feel if you were told you were ‘faking it?’ It wouldn’t be funny at all right? That’s harsh huh?! How do you think we feel? Mental illnesses are just as serious and they’re just as severe as well.
Joking about killing yourself is no joke to me. I don’t want anyone to understand how it feels, with a mental illness, because it’s a struggle, it’s a struggle to live with a mental disorder. So don’t use it as a joke. That’s very insensitive.
The one thing I really hate is when people romantic mental health and paint it has a beautiful Walt Disney movie, when honestly, in reality… it’s a rollercoaster of plenty emotions that can honestly scare those people who don’t understand what another person can suffer and conquer through.
Another thing I really hate is when people say they understand what you are going through. How can you know what I’m going through when people suffer differently and don’t know how to express their own emotions? If you’ve never felt extremely sad for along time, depressed, having suicidal thoughts, or not knowing how to express their emotions in the safest of ways. To be honest, how can a person say I know what you are going through, like really understand? In some life situations that is appropriate, but when someone is struggling with something as serious, as severe, as this… refraining from that comment is a must.
Living with a mental illness is already hard enough… but living in a society where most people don’t understand what you are going through, it makes things so much harder. Mental illnesses are becoming more and more common, it’s so difficult to understand why people still need education on the matter. Physical illnesses are easy to understand because you can mostly see it but with mental health problems a person can smile and look just fine on the outside but be “silently struggling,” on the inside. If you have a leg injury, or just phoning in violently sick, this is understandable and most people seem to get this. But if you say you’re sick and don’t feel well due to mental health problems, people don’t want to know.
When opening up, some people may be inconsiderate about your mental health problems. Some people might laugh at you, or some people may feel like you’re just seeking attention. You’re told it’s fake and totally dismissed. When you’re severely sad it is already hard enough to comprehend what is happening in your mind and being put down when you finally open up about it, it all becomes so much worse.
This is why mental health awareness is so very important. Friends, family, and co-workers need to be able to understand an individual and the heartache that comes along with mental health to provide the greatest support.
Struggling from my own mental health problems, is why I can talk openly about it, and hope and pray I can help somebody. I have gone through some of my own dark times, and I feel by sharing my own struggles it’ll help others to seek the help they need.
People with mental disorders are very very good at hiding it. You never know what someone may be going through, which is why you should be careful what you say and be kind. So many people have told me “you seem happy” or “you never look depress,” Jackie. It doesn’t mean I never felt worthless sometimes. I never express my thoughts to anyone because I don’t want to feel like a burden to you.
Just because a person looks okay, acts okay, and their life seems great… doesn’t mean they don’t feel hopeless, or worthless. It doesn’t mean they can’t or don’t face darkness. You can’t judge a book by it’s cover, so you can’t judge a person by what you on the outside.
That’s some honesty for you all.
It can happen to anybody. Any age, all races, income levels and religions.
Saying someone is doing it all for attention… who would choose a mental illness? Who would want to have a mental illness disorder? Do anyone choose cancer or diabetes? Okay than. Mental illnesses are just as serious as physical illnesses. Causes for mental health conditions are intensively studied and they are very real.
To an untrained observer… of course the specific symptoms may not always be visible. It can be very challenging to relate to what us with a mental illness go through, but it doesn’t mean what we’re going through isn’t real. Because it is ohh soo real!
Just like any other major illness, mental illness is not the fault of the person who has a mental health condition. It’s caused by environmental and biological elements, not a result of personal weakness. A stressful home life, job, or even a bad relationship, can trigger anxiety or depression.
Mental health problems may be passed down through the family. Or they can occur because of abnormal brain chemistry, substance abuse, or in response to traumatic situations, or a abusive surroundings. Mental illnesses isn’t the fault of the person that’s struggling. In other words.
Understand that you can also experience mental illness yourself. We don’t choose to be like this. Why would we?! Why would we want to feel despair everyday, most times all day?! Really?? Understand mental illnesses before you judge it. Learn about mental illnesses before you say we’re faking it. Understand and learn that mental health problems can happen to anybody, and that mental health matters just like physical illnesses matter! Understand and learn, we don’t ask for this… we don’t choose to be like this, it’s a illness that just comes without warning, but you’re very lucky if it don’t.
Take time to understand, before you open your mouth to downgrade mental illnesses.
If you or someone you know struggling from mental illness… please get help. You don’t have to go through it alone. You are not alone. Don’t give up! Keep pushing! Keep fighting! We got this!! —Face Depression