Aiight. So here's the deal. I have extreme anxiety and depression, I've been dealing with anxiety all my life (wasn't fully aware of what it was until 9th grade) and depression came about in high school and has stuck by my side since.
I understand that people don't usually understand mental illnesses because they are invisible and people can be high-functioning even in the midst of battling them, but what I don't understand is the whole "it's not real" "it's something we can make fun of" or even the "just pray it away" arguments.
I am sorry that you don't understand what we are going through, I'm sorry that you think we are faking it to get out of doing something, I'm sorry that you believe we aren't already praying for it to go away.
I recently saw someone ask this question about a celebrity: "okay but can we talk about how so-and-so has something wrong or messed up in their head?"
Where the hell do you think you have the right to ask that question?! This celebrity could (and tbh probably is) dealing with a mental illness, but that is NOT something ANYONE has the right to ask. Our society claims to want to accept everyone, but when it comes down to it, we really don't. Do not pretend like this is false. It isn't. I've seen it, I've heard it, and I've experienced it.
I have friends who don't know I deal with this and openly talked about how stupid and ridiculous they think mental illness and the people who "claim" to deal with it are in my presence. I have been there. Listening to this. Trying not to break down in front of them because I was already having a hard enough week.
Mental illness can be debilitating. It can be horrifying. It can be so crippling that maybe you feel sick and throw up or maybe you feel like you can't get out of bed sometimes. Maybe you have to coach yourself into going to classes or church or ANY social function every. single. day.
Maybe you want to go to a concert but can't because you don't do well around crowds. Maybe you want to go see a movie, but don't wanna go alone and none of your friends are available so you just don't.
Maybe you want to talk to that cute guy/girl but your mind goes crazy and gives you the worst case scenario as the only possible outcome so you don't and you miss out on something that probably had the potential to be great.
I understand that there are people who don't understand. But what I do not understand, is why we treat mental illness like it doesn't exist or isn't real. If someone is throwing up you can expect them to stay home from classes and activities, just like if someone is suffering from depression or anxiety you can expect them to want to stay home too.
Why is one always excused and the other not? Why is it okay to miss stuff if you have a doctor's note saying you had some sort of illness that could be seen in your bloodstream or whatever BUT not okay when you have an illness that messes with your brain and how your body functions?
WHY is there a double standard? Why. It hurts me to even think about it and I'm putting a lot about myself out there just by writing this, but please. Ask yourselves what kind of person you are when it comes to mental illness and if you find yourself thinking "it isn't real" or "they're doing it for attention" or "because they just don't want to do something" then work to change that. If that all was true, then why would we need so many therapists and counselors in the world?
Please. Be kind to those around you and don't speak badly about something you don't understand. It hurts more people than you know because, who knows? Maybe the person you're talking to is dealing with what you're bashing and maybe they had been thinking that maybe they could share this part of them with you only to find out that you think they are doing it for attention or are faking it.
Be kind, always.