Our generation is the most widely impacted by mental illness, or at least we are the generation that is trying to bring light and knowledge to such a taboo topic.
Whether it be anxiety, depression, OCD, or any of the diseases that fall under the umbrella, they are wide-reaching and enormously impactful. Because of this, there is not only an increase in diagnosed disorders, but an increase in people saying they’re “depressed” or “anxious” when really they do not even know the half of it.
Don’t get me wrong, everyone is bound to experience some level of anxiety- it’s natural and expected.
However, there is a huge difference between being anxious and having an anxiety disorder, just like there is an enormous difference between being sad, and being clinically depressed.
Mental illness is real, and it is not meant to be thrown around lightly. I have pushed off writing this article for some time, for fear of being critiqued and dubbed “dramatic” however I have waited long enough. Six years ago, I went to a psychiatrist for the first time, thus beginning my official relationship with my mental illness.
Panic Disorder. Generalized Anxiety Disorder. Clinical Depression.
Three diagnoses I was given that changed my life. I knew there were underlying problems, I knew I needed help. However, I waited for two years before even beginning to uncover my real issues before seeking help. At such a young age, I was confused and I was told being sad sometimes, and a “little scared” were normal.
However, there is a fine line between negative, yet healthy, emotions, and the true face of mental illness.
Months upon months of therapy, multiple medications, and six years later, I can vouch for just how detrimental these diseases are- and they are just that, diseases. Just like any physical ailment, any form of diagnosed mental illness can negatively impact your health and wellbeing.
The physical damage is just as bad as the emotional, and the damage to those around you is even worse.
There were, and still are, days where I am physically ill because of what I live with. It is my normal and it is okay, what’s not okay is throwing around being “depressed” when you haven’t gone through the string of medical doctors and therapists who are trained to diagnose and uncover what is really, truly, going on.
This is not meant to invalidate anyone’s feelings, however, if you feel you truly are impacted by mental illness, I urge you to go to a psychiatrist or at the very least your primary care physician.
These are diagnosable illnesses and just like with any sickness they need to be, and very well can be, treated and managed. I live with my diagnosis every single day, and while it will always be a challenge, I have found a balance and solution that works for me and makes life positive again.
There is no shame in mental illness, and there is no shame in talking about what you’re feeling and thinking. Seek help, I promise it will make a world of a difference.
What you’re feeling is real, and valid, but without the proper help it will only get worse.