know about mental illness

Just Because I Cannot Express My Emotions Does Not Mean I Don't Deserve Respect

Dealing with severe depression, PTSD, and a personality disorder is hard enough, and the last thing I want to do is put up with people's shit about my conditions

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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Anorexia, You're Cancelled

A letter to my eating disorder that I now have full control of.

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Anorexia. Oh, anorexia. You thought you had me, but I came out on top. I always do.

"I'm not hungry." Once my favorite line to say. At first, I would just say it to say it. But after a while, even I started to believe it. How crazy is it to think that you were in my head, telling me I was overweight? How crazy is it to think that I was once 5'7", and weighed only 104 pounds? How crazy is it to think that you let me believe that any jeans over a size two were the end of the world? You took advantage of me when you knew that I was vulnerable. But at the end of the day, I will always be stronger than you, and this is a battle you will never win with me.

A thigh gap. Oh my goodness a thigh gap. Yes, you're reading this correctly. A gap in between your two thighs. My biggest obsession at one point. I was so infatuated with being small enough that there was a noticeable gap in between my two thighs. You let me think this was what was best for me. You let me think that I had to have this for people to find me attractive. You let me think that I would rather go days without eating, then let my thighs get within two inches of each other. Why'd you do that to me? Why are so many innocent girls and boys your victim?

Back and forth I went. From appointment to appointment. Constantly getting blood drawn. Constantly being referred to new doctors at new hospitals. At one point, I had to get six tubes of blood drawn at one time. I left the hospital physically weak from the lack of blood, and mentally weak from the pain you were putting me through. All because no one could figure out the reason for my rapid weight loss. Not even my parents knew what was going on. Shortly after tests kept coming back negative, doctors kept running out of responses, my mom caught on to you, anorexia. She knew that there was a problem, and it was you.

You let me believe that this was a battle I needed to fight alone. Completely alone. My parents didn't know. My friends didn't know. No one closest to me knew, and I suffered the consequences. Everyone saw a change in me, physically and mentally, but no one knew the definite reason. People had formed their assumptions, and I even sometimes got asked or questioned about it. Deny, deny, deny, was always my go to. Until I couldn't take it any longer. Until I broke down and admitted to my friends. The support that I got from them was overwhelming. Greater than any support you ever gave me. It was then that I realized I needed to bounce back, and show you that you weren't going to take advantage of me any longer.

I love a good challenge. I quickly realized that the key to beating you was much more simple than I thought. All I had to do was challenge myself. My friends and I would go out to eat at all of our favorite local restaurants. Except for this time, I didn't order one taco that I would take a bite of and be done. I didn't order a cup of cottage cheese, and consider that a meal. This time, I ordered a full meal, and I would challenge myself to eat ALL of it. I was constantly asking my friends to place bets with me on how much they thought I couldn't finish all of my food. They always agreed, putting $5 on the line, even though they knew that I could do it. Every time I took that last bite, I was so proud of myself, and they were so proud of me too. I loved seeing the look on their face that said, "Wow I didn't know she could eat that much." The feeling that I got after finishing a meal was so empowering, it was truly life changing.

So, anorexia. I can now say that I have put back on twenty-five pounds. I eat what I want to eat when I want to eat it. I embrace the meat that I have around my bones. Oh, and that thigh gap. That stupid, stupid thigh gap. She's long gone, and I have no plans for seeing her again.

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