Mental Health is one of those things no one ever talks about. It’s one of those issues that is brushed under the rug. It’s almost a taboo subject. To be fair, before this year, I didn’t think much about either so I guess it’s one of those things that unless you yourself or someone close to you is going through it, you rarely pay attention to it. This is why I want to bring awareness to it.
For me, talking about Mental Health is difficult. I think it’s because it somehow has managed to get the stigma of being a weakness in people. If you suffer from anxiety or depression or something similar, I think many people think you’re just being overdramatic. I think it’s because the phrase, “I’m so depressed” is overused constantly, I am guilty of that. I don’t think I’ve ever understood the true meaning of depression and unhappiness until recently. Luckily, I don’t think I’m a serve case but nevertheless, I’ve witnessed how dark it can be. People who suffer from Mental Health are deemed as weak, pathetic, perhaps even childish. Being a sufferer myself, I don’t think it should be seen as a weakness. If I had broken a leg or an arm or something, I don’t think people would label me as weak. Having a mental health problem, to me, is like having something broken on the inside. A broken heart, a broken sense of confidence, a broken brain I think is equally as bad as a physical wound.
I think because it’s not a visible issue, people don’t take you as seriously. Half of the time, I don’t think they fully believe you. My final teaching term at university is a prime example of that. I mean, I have a visible wound as well, but people don’t understand how much it has affected me mentally as well as physically. They understand how my hand can hurt, but they don’t understand how my mental space is uncomfortable. I have found that people find it acceptable for me to miss a class because I have to see the doctor about my hand, but when I tell them I have to go to counselling session, it feels like they don’t think it’s as important. One of the biggest issues for me is leaving the house. It’s not my physical wounds that prevent me from leaving the house but it’s the mental scars. People think I’m over-exaggerating, they think it’s one of those things where you can just tell yourself to “Snap out of it” or “Tell your brain to shut up.” I only leave my house when I have to be somewhere; appointments, uni, work. I think in three months, I’ve hung out with my friends a handful of time and half of that was probably in the comfort of my own home. People love to tell me the more I do it, the easier it’s gonna get but it’s much much easier said than done. I don’t think I don’t leave my house because I’m sad or depressed, I have nothing to be sad or depressed about, I’m thankful to be here today. But my mind is so active, and I keep telling myself not to put myself in the same situation again, and the way to do that is in my mind, to not go out if it’s unnecessary. I can’t help it if my brain goes into overdrive and I start creating all sorts of situations in my head. I know that I am the issue and I am being my own worse nightmare and that I’m scaring myself but I genuinely cannot help it.
Even people closest to me, I don’t think understand mental health to the full extent. And I know they try so much, and I thank them so much, but unfortunately it’s one of those issues that unless you have gone through it yourself, you can’t really sympathise with someone. If I said, I have a sore throat, everyone knows what that feels like so they understand exactly how I feel. When I tell people I cannot come out, they think I’m just being lazy or stupid because they don’t know how it feels to be scared and anxious and worried all the time. People mistake having a serious mental health problem with having a bad day. There’s a huge difference in being stressed and down for a short period of time, and having something more serious.
I find it hard to express fully how I feel at the best of times. I’m one of those people that like to stay silent when I’m sad, that disappears for a while if I’m angry, you know? So trying to talk about something which is taboo in society, which no one fully understand is near impossible. Being an English student, I could write paragraphs upon paragraphs on any topic, but when it comes to talking about myself and my true feelings, I cannot communicate it very well, especially now (so apologises if this post is very here-and-there lol)
I have this good friend who similarly is going through some stuff like me with Mental Health. I think our mental health issues are different because obviously neither of us went through the same trauma but I feel that I can explain to him how I feel more so than my family or my girlfriends because he sorta knows where I’m coming from. And if I was going to ever talk about my feelings, I know he would understand. We were just talking about the other day how mental health is one of the most serious illnesses around that needs more research, that needs more awareness.
I don’t really know where I’m going with this post. I don’t want people to feel sorry for me, that’s not the point of this blogpost. I guess, I don’t want people to judge me on what they think they know. Like I’ve said, unless you’ve walked in my shoes, you don’t know what I feel, and how I see the world. I guess I want the issue to be considered as serious as an open wound. I want people to stop stigmatising people who have Mental Health issues. I want society to not look down at people, but help them feel themselves again.
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