People who have mental health issues will have at least once heard the phrase, ‘ah, you’ll be fine’ or ‘you’ll get over it’ and no matter how much you try to explain how you feel, some people just don’t understand. In the world we live in now it’s hard to understand why people can’t be empathetic towards you. You feel like you’re losing a constant battle with these people.
When someone has a physical illness it is easier to understand because you can see it with your own eyes. With someone’s mental health, a persons can be smiling but be hiding a thousand demons on the inside and you wouldn’t know.
Think about this: If I said I suddenly couldn’t feel my left side or my speech began to become slurred and then collapsed, would you then tell me ‘ah you be fine’? No? Would you tell me to stop exaggerating? No? Or would you be more willing to believe me because you are seeing something happening with your own two eyes?
If I had the flu you could touch my forehead and feel the fever, but when I’m Anxious or having a breakdown, you can’t see the over powering thoughts in my brain, just the brave face you try to put on. It does not mean that because you can’t feel or see it, it is not there.
There is no quick diagnosis for mental illness, but for all of us who struggle with it, it’s as real and can be as terrifying as a physical illness. Just because I’m smiling on the outside doesn’t mean my brain isn’t shutting down or that I’m doing fine on the inside. I could be merely one step away from the edge.
One moment, I may be fine. The next moment, I could find myself confined to bed or being admitted to the hospital. Just as it takes time to recover from a heart attack/stroke/general illnesses or to get insulin under control, it takes time to stabilise the chemicals in my brain. With peoples support you can feel more at ease and not judged with what you are going through just because it cannot be seen.
With World Mental Health Day coming up, it is so important to show you understand and to read up on how mental health can affect people. We need to open up more to others and when someone opens up to you don’t push them away because you don’t get it. If you don’t understand, tell them.. They can help educate you on what it means to have a mental health illness.