My Mental Illness Looks Like This

My Mental Illness Looks Like This

One image of mental health.
155
views

Last week, our wonderful Creator Eren wrote on what her mental illness looks like, a topic she found online. It was brave and beautiful and inspired me to do my own. I'll be honest, this isn't easy. It never is, but it's important.

So what does it look like?

Well first, it looks like me. Someone with blue/green eyes, short. Someone who came from a background of divorce, but no other serious trauma. It's started at 13 or 14 years old, when you just want to be friends and instead you're laying in bed and you say it's because "you're tired." It's accompanied by constant stream or tears or staring at the walls. It's being tangled in so much anxiety, you're gasping for air, literally and figuratively. Being frozen in place rather than a fight or flight in a panic attack. It's having these episodes over school, people or just life in general just because. It's questioning your existence. And numbing yourself any way possible. It's the life taken from you. It's the thing you want to fight through and think positive about and be okay, but it's not that simple.

But then you're happy sometimes. No more sad feelings, let's celebrate! Enjoying life with friends, staying up all night, going to parties. Let's talk to everyone because "I feel so good!!" I buy stuff I don't need and get irritated at the slightest thing going wrong. It makes me lash out. It's reckless, fun, and maybe hazardous. But it's also obsessive, though. You feel the need to check the door four times to be exact. If you mess something up, better go back. Count to make sure it adds up and make sure it's even. It means nothing bad will happen, like you or your family dying. It's the dumbest thing ever, especially when everyone's around, but it helps the anxiety, even short term is enough.

Your friends and family get it. They may not deal with it, but they're there for you. They keep you walking, talking, alive. Therapy, medication and any other healthy coping technique are godsends, but so are the people who keep you from crashing. Or maybe they rescue you when you've already crashed. You learn so much from these complex diseases, about yourself and those around you. You learn just how strong you are. It also makes mental illness real no matter who you are, where you come from, anything. It doesn't discriminate.

So how would you describe your mental illness? Why do we make it so stigmatized? Why don't we speak up?

Cover Image Credit: Pinterest

Popular Right Now

College As Told By Junie B. Jones

A tribute to the beloved author Barbara Parks.
27961
views

The Junie B. Jones series was a big part of my childhood. They were the first chapter books I ever read. On car trips, my mother would entertain my sister and me by purchasing a new Junie B. Jones book and reading it to us. My favorite part about the books then, and still, are how funny they are. Junie B. takes things very literally, and her (mis)adventures are hilarious. A lot of children's authors tend to write for children and parents in their books to keep the attention of both parties. Barbara Park, the author of the Junie B. Jones series, did just that. This is why many things Junie B. said in Kindergarten could be applied to her experiences in college, as shown here.

When Junie B. introduces herself hundreds of times during orientation week:

“My name is Junie B. Jones. The B stands for Beatrice. Except I don't like Beatrice. I just like B and that's all." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 1)

When she goes to her first college career fair:

"Yeah, only guess what? I never even heard of that dumb word careers before. And so I won't know what the heck we're talking about." (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 2)

When she thinks people in class are gossiping about her:

“They whispered to each other for a real long time. Also, they kept looking at me. And they wouldn't even stop." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When someone asks her about the library:

“It's where the books are. And guess what? Books are my very favorite things in the whole world!" (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 27)

When she doesn't know what she's eating at the caf:

“I peeked inside the bread. I stared and stared for a real long time. 'Cause I didn't actually recognize the meat, that's why. Finally, I ate it anyway. It was tasty...whatever it was." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 66)

When she gets bored during class:

“I drew a sausage patty on my arm. Only that wasn't even an assignment." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 18)

When she considers dropping out:

“Maybe someday I will just be the Boss of Cookies instead!" (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 76)

When her friends invite her to the lake for Labor Day:

“GOOD NEWS! I CAN COME TO THE LAKE WITH YOU, I BELIEVE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 17)

When her professor never enters grades on time:

“I rolled my eyes way up to the sky." (Junie B., First Grader Boss of Lunch, p. 38)

When her friends won't stop poking her on Facebook:


“Do not poke me one more time, and I mean it." (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 7)

When she finds out she got a bad test grade:

“Then my eyes got a little bit wet. I wasn't crying, though." (Junie B. Jones and the Stupid Smelly Bus, p. 17)

When she isn't allowed to have a pet on campus but really wants one:

“FISH STICK! I NAMED HIM FISH STICK BECAUSE HE'S A FISH STICK, OF COURSE!" (Junie B. Jones Smells Something Fishy, p. 59)

When she has to walk across campus in the dark:

“There's no such thing as monsters. There's no such thing as monsters." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 12)

When her boyfriend breaks her heart:

“I am a bachelorette. A bachelorette is when your boyfriend named Ricardo dumps you at recess. Only I wasn't actually expecting that terrible trouble." (Junie B. Jones Is (almost) a Flower Girl, p. 1)

When she paints her first canvas:


"And painting is the funnest thing I love!" (Junie B. Jones and her Big Fat Mouth, p. 61)

When her sorority takes stacked pictures:

“The biggie kids stand in the back. And the shortie kids stand in the front. I am a shortie kid. Only that is nothing to be ashamed of." (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed, p. 7)

When she's had enough of the caf's food:

“Want to bake a lemon pie? A lemon pie would be fun, don't you think?" (Junie B. Jones Has a Monster Under Her Bed p. 34)

When she forgets about an exam:

“Speechless is when your mouth can't speech." (Junie B. Jones Loves Handsome Warren, p. 54)

When she finds out she has enough credits to graduate:

“A DIPLOMA! A DIPLOMA! I WILL LOVE A DIPLOMA!" (Junie B. Jones is a Graduation Girl p. 6)

When she gets home from college:

"IT'S ME! IT'S JUNIE B. JONES! I'M HOME FROM MY SCHOOL!" (Junie B. Jones and some Sneaky Peaky Spying p. 20)

Cover Image Credit: OrderOfBooks

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

It's 2019 And Mental Health Needs To Be Taken As Seriously As Physical Health

Things may be really hard for a while and a mental health problem may never completely go away, but you can learn to manage it; If you're looking for a sign to keep living, this is it.

67
views

Trigger warning: suicide.

Let's say you're having a bad day. Your body feels fatigued, anxious thoughts run on a loop in your head, and it feels like there is a literal dark storm cloud hovering above that prevents you from feeling, at least, OK. The ideal solution would be to take a sick day so you can go home and recuperate, right? Well, that isn't always possible due to the stigma that exists around mental health in which you would be frowned upon to take the day off if your physical health is fine. Depending on where you work/go to school/have responsibilities, there might not even be a policy in place concerning mental health days which leaves you stuck and feeling awful.

There's a lot of hustle and bustle that goes on these days. It's quite easy for the stress to build up, and if there's too much of it, it can have negative impacts on both your physical and mental health. So why isn't it taken more seriously? I think part of it stems from the "take initiative and work hard every day" ideology within our society. If someone falls behind, they're seen as lazy, worthless, and a burden on society. However, if someone busts their butt every day, they are praised for these efforts, yet everyone seems to scratch their head in confusion when stress catches up with that same person and they too fall behind.

This problem is only amplified when mental health problems come into play. Methods of treatment like therapy and medication isn't always an option since it could not be covered by their insurance/they don't have insurance and can't afford it, they lack resources, there's a possibility of being misdiagnosed and the problem is brushed off by physicians, there's judgment from their family/peers, etc. This only allows for the problems to continue and possibly even get worse as time goes on which could be sparked by the political climate, climate change, national issues, and more.

If these problems go on long enough, they could develop suicidal tendencies within a person. They get to a point where life feels so hopeless that they feel they simply cannot go on. The stigma needs to change now because people's wellbeing and lives are at stake.

If you or someone you know are dealing with these problems, the National Suicide Hotline is 1-800-273-8255 and there is a texting Crisis Lifeline that can be reached by texting TALK to 741-741. Buzzfeed wrote an article that explains what you can expect when calling a lifeline.

Lastly, I just want to remind you that you deserve to be safe and happy, but you are not a game show host and do not have to be happy 100% of the time. Your feelings are valid and it's OK to not be OK. Things may be really hard for a while and a mental health problem may never completely go away, but you can learn to manage it. If you're looking for a sign to keep living, this is it.

As the great Bob Ross once said, "It's a good day to be alive."

Related Content

Facebook Comments