Don't Forget The Flowers
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Health and Wellness

Don't Forget The Flowers

It's OK to not be OK.

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Don't Forget The Flowers
Amanda Bovea

Depression. Anxiety. Mental illness. No one wants to talk about it. Even though one in four Americans suffer from a mental illness, there is an awfully huge stigma surrounding it. No one likes to admit they're suffering a little too much. Many people believe mental illness is all for show and is nothing more than a way for attention-seekers to get their kicks. However, this is incredibly untrue. Mental illness is very real, and very difficult. I have reached a point in my life where I should be excited and amazed at all the possibilities my future holds—but I'm not. Even though I may not feel 100 percent OK, I think it's OK to not be OK.

I won't lie and say it's easy to get better. Taking a week off for mental health reasons doesn't usually go over as well with the boss as, say, breaking a bone would. If you have an accident that injures you physically, people come to visit the hospital with flowers and balloons; if you have a mental breakdown, people avoid the hospital and only offer judgment and disbelief.

I’ve suffered from depression and anxiety for most of my adult life, but I'm learning to cope on my own. It’s important to be able to take care of yourself just like you would if you had a cold. Go to a doctor. See if they have any way of helping you feel your best. Sometimes you might need medication, but even that isn't indicative of you being weak or weird or crazy. Having depression and anxiety isn’t a life sentence of sadness. It just means you've got to try a little bit harder than everyone else to balance your mood. For me, music helps to remind me that while I am suffering, I am not alone. Jamming to groups like Twenty One Pilots or Switchfoot on nights I can’t sleep—helps. Sometimes just knowing my family is here for me even though I may not feel like talking—helps. Websites like TWLOHA.Com that bring awareness to mental illness and de-stigmatize it helps. So the next time your friends ask you to come over because they’ve had a bad day? Please, don’t forget the flowers.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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