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.