“My friends and family don’t understand my mental illness.”

When you have problems like depression, anxiety, PTSD, Bulimia, Anorexia, Bi polar, and even things like ADHD, there will always be people (even people whom you love) that won’t understand a damn thing you’re going through.

I only know my own experiences with my own diagnoses so I’ll use those as examples:

Depression: Just cheer up! Stop complaining! Killing yourself seems kind of dramatic. You have a great life, what’s so bad about it?

Anxiety: Calm down. Why are you so worried about something so far away in the future?

And my all time favorite for all of these: “It’s just mind over matter.”

Sometimes for smaller moments in recovery it really is just mind over matter.

But to anyone who says any of these things to people that suffer from a mental illness I say: Shut. The fuck. Up.

No one knows what you go through. No one knows what anyone goes through. We cannot simply use cliché advice to make everyone’s pain go away. Mental illness or not everyone has their own struggle.

But why are people so quick to dismiss a mental illness?

If my leg was broken people wouldn’t say, “dude, just get up and walk.”

If I had cancer no one would dare accuse me of being dramatic or overreacting.

But depression can (and has) killed people.

Depression wants you dead and somehow it has blackmailed you into being the hitman.

Usually when the people you love say things like “Why don’t you just go for a jog? Get out of bed?  It’s easy.” They only have your best interest at heart.

But it doesn’t solve anything.

And when I say, “shut the fuck up” I don’t mean that you should shut them out. What do you expect them to say? They have no clue what you go through on a daily basis. But they are obsessed with trying to fix you and it stresses them out everytime they realize that they simply cannot compete with your brain.

Let them know that they don’t have to fix you!

That’s what therapists are for. There are professionals out there who have studied about the things you deal with, and maybe we should leave it to them.

But your friends and family can always listen. Listening and understanding someone is in pain is one of the best things anyone can do.

If you have a loved one who is suffering from any of the above and you don’t know how to help them, please find a professional who can tell you what to do.

If you suffer from any of the above and feel that you have no support, then open your eyes, pal! Therapists, Psychiatrists, even blogs like these. WordPress has an amazing community of people that can relate to you and your pain on some level. Just like a broken leg, there are solutions to recovering. I used to be afraid of taking medication. I thought it was embarrassing and it made me feel even more sick. I’m slowly getting more and more excited about the things that are changing because of Wellbutrin and abilify, and I know now that I could’ve sped up this process had I not been so closed minded about it. I had to decide to do it.

I had to decide to see a therapist. I had to decide to eat. I had to decide to get out of bed every day. I’m not there yet, but deciding to do something about your problems is the first step. I know it’s truly messed up that life went on without you and people that may have hurt you have moved on from it and you’re still suffering on a daily basis. But giving up is not making them pay. Giving up is not hurting anyone but you. Once you realize that, you’ll wonder why you wasted so much time sitting in a trashed up room feeling so empty and alone when you could’ve been living your damn life.

The time to get better is now, but no one else can do it for you.

Jess

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