Stop Pretending Like There's Something Wrong Mental Health

It's Time To Stop Pretending Like There Is Something Wrong With Prioritizing Mental Health

It's 2019, yet we still have't overcome the stigma that follows dealing with our mental health.

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It's all in your head. Snap out of it. It can't be that bad. Stop feeling sorry for yourself. There are people who are worse off than you. Cheer up. Have you tried being happy?

These are only a few phrases that people who struggle with their mental health hear all of the time. People don't understand or believe in what they can't see. Mental health isn't something you can see or touch like a physical illness. And if you don't understand it, you can at least stereotype it to get flimsy understanding from your peers. Over the years we have become more accepting and are stepping away from our judgmental gaze on others.

Yet, it's 2019 and we still haven't overcome the stigma surrounding mental health.

People who deal with mental issues, myself included, are sick and tired of being judged for prioritizing our mental health. Putting your mental state should not be something to be ashamed of. Mental disorders are just as real and important as a tumor or laceration. We can't just "cheer up" automatically or stop thinking about something. We work daily on our mental health and some days are better than others. Some days we want to give up and throw in the towel. To us, something small an insignificant, a minor everyday hassle, can make us feel like the walls are closing in. So yes, we realize that there are others worse off and we feel for them too. But right now we feel like the world is ending and you're comments are not helping.

Mental health does not follow a stereotype.

Not every depressed person is self-harming and wants to kill themselves. Not everyone with anxiety has multiple panic attacks and need a Xanax to get through their day. Not everyone with ADHD or ADD is sporadic and jumpy. Not everyone with schizophrenia needs heavy medication and to be locked in an insane asylum. Media has corrupted the way people view those with mental health issues. This has caused a heavy stigma to fall over people who battle their mental health every day.

It causes us to feel alone.

No one should feel alone when dealing with their mental health. It makes us feel like there is something terribly wrong with us and that our lives are insignificant compared to others. We feel that we have to suffer in silence or risk losing our friends because they don't want to be associated with the class "freak". It's 2019 and it's been long overdue that we erase the stigma surrounding mental health. If you know someone struggling with their mental health, reach out to them. Be a comforting presence and a connection to reality when they feel that their's has been tilted on its axis. I strongly, strongly avoid using any of the phrases mentioned above. Just don't do it, even if you have no idea what to say in the moment. From a future psychologist to all of you, it's 2019 and it's time we stop apologizing for prioritizing our mental health.

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Everything You Will Miss If You Commit Suicide

The world needs you.
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You won't see the sunrise or have your favorite breakfast in the morning.

Instead, your family will mourn the sunrise because it means another day without you.

You will never stay up late talking to your friends or have a bonfire on a summer night.

You won't laugh until you cry again, or dance around and be silly.

You won't go on another adventure. You won't drive around under the moonlight and stars.

They'll miss you. They'll cry.

You won't fight with your siblings only to make up minutes later and laugh about it.

You won't get to interrogate your sister's fiancé when the time comes.

You won't be there to wipe away your mother's tears when she finds out that you're gone.

You won't be able to hug the ones that love you while they're waiting to wake up from the nightmare that had become their reality.

You won't be at your grandparents funeral, speaking about the good things they did in their life.

Instead, they will be at yours.

You won't find your purpose in life, the love of your life, get married or raise a family.

You won't celebrate another Christmas, Easter or birthday.

You won't turn another year older.

You will never see the places you've always dreamed of seeing.

You will not allow yourself the opportunity to get help.

This will be the last sunset you see.

You'll never see the sky change from a bright blue to purples, pinks, oranges, and yellows meshing together over the landscape again.

If the light has left your eyes and all you see is the darkness, know that it can get better. Let yourself get better.

This is what you will miss if you leave the world today.

This is who will care about you when you are gone.

You can change lives. But I hope it's not at the expense of yours.

We care. People care.

Don't let today be the end.

You don't have to live forever sad. You can be happy. It's not wrong to ask for help.

Thank you for staying. Thank you for fighting.

Suicide is a real problem that no one wants to talk about. I'm sure you're no different. But we need to talk about it. There is no difference between being suicidal and committing suicide. If someone tells you they want to kill themselves, do not think they won't do it. Do not just tell them, “Oh you'll be fine." Because when they aren't, you will wonder what you could have done to help. Sit with them however long you need to and tell them it will get better. Talk to them about their problems and tell them there is help. Be the help. Get them assistance. Remind them of all the things they will miss in life.

If you or someone you know is experiencing suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline — 1-800-273-8255

Cover Image Credit: Brittani Norman

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I'm Ready To Shed My Seasonal Depression And Wrap Myself In Happiness

My mood is lifting and I'm feeling great, I've been waiting for this for what feels like forever.

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Seasonal depression is a real thing. Another term for it is Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Seasonal Depression is when your mood is affected by the changes of the seasons, the most common trigger being winter time. There isn't even really a known cause of this. Sure there are some factors such as a change in your serotonin and melatonin levels. Serotonin is the brain chemical that affects your mood and melatonin is what controls your sleep patterns and some of your mood.

Winter time is the most common season that people experience seasonal depression. There's not as much sunlight and if you aren't someone who does a lot of things in the winter your stuck indoors a lot. People tend to oversleep, gain weight, lose a lot of their energy and overall just feel really down.

I know that at least for me, I'm not exactly a delight to be around during the winter. I'm a much happier and lively person comes spring and summer time. The sun is back out, the days are longer and the fresh air just makes you feel so good. As we begin to enter spring now, I can feel my mood shift. I can feel this weight slowly lifting from my shoulders. I'm ready to spring clean, ready to see friends and ready for adventure again.

I'm ready to be happy again.

As someone who also struggles with bipolar disorder, I get a bit more of the intense sides of the seasonal mood changes. My depression is stronger in the winter. I start to feel hopeless on some days, I'm tired all the time and I feel low. It's not your normal depression that comes with the season for some people, it's stronger. Then spring and summer come and my manic side peaks. I'm happy, but quite intense as my mania phase also means I'm a bit more sensitive and aggressive. Bipolar is a disorder you deal with all the time, the seasons just can amplify some of the symptoms.

WIth seasonal depression, it's predictable. You know it's coming, you know when it happens and you're able to try and take preventive measures. You can look for activities to keep yourself busy, you can try to plan a vacation to someplace sunny, you have options. You can fight the mood change.

I'm just thankful that the time has come to shed the seasonal depression and start living a bit better. My mood is rising and I'm feeling really good. There is so much to look forward to and so much that I'm ready to do.

I'm ready for the sun, I'm ready for the joy and I'm ready to breathe again.

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