To Those Who Struggle With Mental Health, Mental Disorders Are Not Cute Or Romantic

To Those Who Struggle With Mental Health, Mental Disorders Are Not Cute Or Romantic

Mental health is tricky.

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Struggling with your mental health is even tricky. I wish that I could think of a better, more poetic word to use to replace tricky, but I can't. That's what it is. Tricky.

You could be doing well for days, weeks, months, even years, and suddenly you can find yourself slipping back into unhealthy habits and mental states. You may not notice that they are creeping back into your life, slowly possessing you again. You may even notice it, but won't want to accept it, because you want to be strong and believe you have overcome your demons.

When you are doing good, the thought of relapsing can seem impossible. You may feel a high from the happiness and peace you feel. You believe you have finally achieved all you've ever wanted: happiness and a sense of peace. However, no matter how good you feel, there is always a dim of fear in the back of your mind. The dim fear is the honest truth: relapse is always possible.

For some, they may be open about their mental health. Friends and family may know about their struggles, but that still doesn't mean that they want to be open about the bad– or how real and bad things may be.

Society has fantasized and romanticized mental illness. People may have assumptions of what some mental disorders may look like and have their own expectations. In movies, some mental disorders may be depicted in ways that can be the furthest from another's reality. I truly believe mental disorders are not "one-size fits all". This is why the romanticized perceptions of mental disorders can be dangerous.

Society has also normalized mental disorders and illness in a way that can be harmful to those who struggle. The conversation of mental health and the push to understand mental disorders and illnesses is great; however, watering down the severity of them is dangerous. When people use anxiety and depression, for example, to express the normal levels of nervousness and sadness we experience as humans, we mask how severe actual anxiety and depression disorders are.

When diagnosing a mental disorder or illness, there can be many symptoms that could be experienced; but only five need to be experienced for a duration of time to be diagnosed. Five out of a long list means that mental disorders can look and be experienced differently in almost every case.

The truth is, unless you, yourself, struggle with a given mental disorder or illness, you cannot fathom or begin to understand what it is like. Two people can be both struggling with the same disorder or illness and still be struggling in very abstract ways.

The demons, that possess those of us who struggle, deal and cope with mental disorders, are tricky. Whether they are depression, anxieties, fears, calories, hopelessness, mania, personalities, addictions, self-harming, ect., they will always possess a home in our minds.

The trickiest part of all is making sure to remember you are stronger than them all. Whether it be remembering to participate in self-care, taking medication, going to therapy, staying clean, fighting or even just surviving, it is an on-going, ever present battle. Mental disorders and illness are not cute and something one would want to use to gain attention, sympathy, or as an excuse. They can feel challenging, terrifying, exhausting, humiliating, and can make us feel weak and less-than. They are not something we want to be romanticized, and not something that should be.

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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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The Truth About Narcan, Insulin, And Who Pays For What

"Stupid junkies, I have to pay for my Insulin but they get Narcan FOR FREE. Can you believe that?"

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Naloxone.

Let's talk about it. Naloxone, commonly referred to as Narcan or Evzio is a "medication designed to rapidly reverse opioid overdose." According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, Naloxone basically reverses the effects of an overdose.

As you see on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and every other social media platform in the world, "junkies" get indirectly bashed, undermined, and in a nutshell, told that they don't deserve a place on earth.

The most common argument used by "non-addicts" is "I have to pay for my Insulin for my diabetes, but they get Narcan for free? Wow, our government sucks and the system is a joke."

For those of you that don't know, diabetes is a disease in which the body's ability to produce or respond to the hormone, insulin, is impaired, resulting in abnormal metabolism of carbohydrates and elevated levels of glucose in the blood and urine.

There are two types of this disease: Type 1 Diabetes and Type 2 Diabetes that result from a variety of different factors. Diabetes can be acquired through genetics but can also be personally obtained through lifestyle, depending on the type. Aside from genetics and being born into a diabetic family, you may also be diagnosed with diabetes as a result of physical inactivity, high blood pressure, abnormal cholesterol, and being overweight. In other words, if you let your body go, don't work out or do some type of physical activity, let your high blood pressure go untreated, and eat unhealthy foods; you have a chance of developing diabetes.

Next, let's talk about prices.

On average, Insulin costs $200 monthly. This depends on the brand, personal insurance, coupons, and other factors such as organizations that help people get cheaper insulin.

Narcan nasal spray costs $130 for a two-time use. You can buy it at CVS Pharmacy (and other pharmacies) in states such as Ohio, Arkansas, California, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, New Jersey, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and Wisconsin. Some of these states may require a prescription.

Now that you know that Narcan/Evzio isn't free, it's time to talk about other charges that are brought upon addicts when they overdose. If an ambulance is called, they have to pay for it. If they are sent to the emergency room, they also have to pay for that.

The idea that "junkies" get Narcan for free is something society has made up to make drug users feel even more guilt than they already do from having an addiction alone.

Believe it or not, most of us are addicted to something that can be fatal or cause illness/injury. If you eat processed foods or sugar ridden foods every day, chances are you have an addiction to sugar. The withdrawal that someone has from quitting sugar is similar to the withdrawal that one goes through from quitting heroin. You get a splitting headache, you have cold sweats, you are moody, and it makes you sick. If you drink coffee all day on most days and you try to quit, it results in an awful headache for a few days. The addiction to cigarettes and the withdrawal that people go through for that speaks for itself; we all know a smoker or an ex-smoker.

Instead of following social norms, degrading drug users and putting ourselves on a pedestal because we don't use heroin or another "hard drug," we should advocate for the health and stand up for each other. If you see someone on the street that you know is a drug user, pull them aside and pray with them. Help them find a better life. Recommend church, rehab, or any other ideas that may be at your fingertips to mention.

The moral of the story is this: we all have an addiction, hypocrisy is at it's finest thanks to social media, and we are all human. Walk a mile in someone else's shoes before you judge them. It doesn't cost a dime to shed light on someone's life, especially when they are in need.

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