Growing up I always felt something was wrong. It wasn't my parent's divorce or the fact that I was always jealous of my sister. It wasn't even my bad relationship with my own mother. It was something within that I couldn't pinpoint, but all I knew was that I was not the happy person I wanted to be.
All throughout middle school I had to ask myself why I was always crying myself to sleep at night even when my day was good or why I could never tell myself that I was pretty. These questions lead me to a path of depression and self-destruction. It wasn't until my college years that I realized how severe my depression was and that this is something I have to deal with forever.
Along with dealing with severe depression, I also found out that due to my traumatic childhood, I developed PTSD and an unidentified personality disorder. Because of this, my behaviors and thinking patterns differ from a lot of people. This lead me to a lot of situations that were undesirable and also lead to a whole lot of misconceptions about mental health as a whole.
Here are 10 things I want people to know when it comes to people with severe mental issues.
1. We deserve basic respect.Giphy
Just because I have a condition that prevents me from thinking, feeling, and acting in a way that is normal, it does not mean I am less of a person. Some people think just because of my mental conditions, they can label me as a certain thing I know I am not. Before you decide yo be that person who calls me "emo," "lazy," "worthless," etc, just know that I have feelings too and ask yourself what would you do if someone were to call you these things or judge you the way you decide to judge me.
2. We care even though it may not look like it.
Part of having multiple mental disorders is being numb to our emotions and also the emotions of others. With me, it came to a point where I would not be able to show my emotions right off the bat. This can come as a problem if someone were to do or say something that would not be okay with me. At first I may show that I would not care and that I will let it slide, then a few days later I will begin to fully process the amount of damage that was done which will lead to me expressing my emotions I should have expressed a few days prior.
Because of this, I may come off as "crazy" or "bipolar" when in reality I have problems processing emotion. If you ever tell me something that is important to you and brings you certain emotions, but I don't seem to be feeling how you feel, I am sorry and please don't ever take it personal. Just know that as long as I care about you I will do whatever I can to support you.
3. Our brain processes a lot slowly.Giphy
This is a problem I personally hate. Not only do I process feelings and emotions a lot slower, but I also process any information people give me at a slower rate. This leads to a lot of problems in school and it makes me the person who has to work harder than other students who may not. This also leads to awkward social situations. For a while I had problems with holding a conversation no matter how much I liked a person. I was not use to people constantly interacting with me because of a lonely childhood, so even til this day I am still learning how to socialize with people. This does NOT mean that I am slow or less capable of doing things other people are able to do. It only means that we need a little more time.
4. It is hard for us to do things without being tired.
things such as laundry is a big hassle for me. I remember freshman year I was at a point where I just hated walking and would ride the bus to classes that were walking distance, which lead me to gain a lot of weight. As much as I wanted to do so much there were periods of times where I just could not bring myself to do simple tasks. This lead to a lot of self hate and guilt. I was so ashamed to even talk to my professors about my situations because of the fear that they would never understand me and would think I was simply lazy ans unmotivated.
5. We overthink.Giphy
Overthinking is one of my biggest flaws. It leads to some situations that are small becomes something huge because of my overwhelming thoughts. This makes it hard for me to ignore a lot of things even when I want to have inner peace.
6. We experience stronger emotions.
When it comes to emotions it is a curse for me. Most people can manage how much anger or sadness they want to feel but for me it is hard to manage those types of emotions. Recently I had broken up with my ex of a year. Almost every day I always have this strong feeling of anger. Even though he could no longer handle a lot of my issues I still feel resentful for him leaving me because in my mind I would not leave him or say things to him that would trigger an unpleasant emotion if he were to have a lot of emotional issues.
7. We numb ourselves in an unhealthy way.Giphy
Alcohol was my friend once I started college. I remember getting drunk every week junior year. It may seem like a typical college experience but for me it was something I didn't do for fun. Drinking was a way that I could escape my thoughts and emotions. This held truth until I find an outstanding therapist who can help with my issues it will always be that way.
8. We feel bad for who we are.
I am still learning about personality disorders. One of the things I recently realized that I experience is something called "splitting." It is when my thinking becomes black and white and I start to experience a major change in feelings towards people or things. After I go through splitting I feel extremely guilty and would judge myself for being this bad person.
It is hard especially when people you start to have hate for gives you no reason to hate them but at the same time they remind you of unpleasant things in your life you wish you could forget.
9. Triggers are EVERYWHERE.
From socializing with people to seeing things that may be normal or innocent, it is hard to know what can trigger me to experience splitting. I remember when my ex and I celebrated our anniversary and his son had to come with us. The whole day my ex's attention was on his son and we never even had a chance to be alone with one another. Normal people will view it as something that had to happen since he is a father.
For me, a wave of narcissistic thinking and emotions of jealousy came in because that day reminded me of a part of my childhood where I felt unwanted by everyone in my family. It also brought back memories of me wanting to be closer to my mom and her having the love for me that she had for my sister. In this case, I wished that I was meaningful in his life as his son was. I honestly never expressed how I felt to my ex because I felt ashamed that I felt that way and it made me ashamed to be alive after I snapped out of the splitting episode.
10. We wish we could be normal.
I wake up every day wishing I can go a day without feeling worthless, having triggers, being on medication, etc. I blame my mental health for every failed relationships and failures I had experienced in life. Most of the times I feel like if I was born normal I would never had to have academic, relationship, or emotional problems.
I hope that people can understand that a lot of things we do is not what we cannot help doing. At the end of the day, we are people too and deserve love and respect.