"You Don't Look Anxious" - 27 Things People With Mental Health Problems Want You To Know.

I've probably heard the phrases "You don't look anxious" "We all have bad days" more than I've had Sunday roast dinners (I've got food on the brain) and to be honest, should I be carrying around a sign announcing that I have mental health or what? Welcome to 2020, a new decade but one that still carries a lot of stigmas with it surrounding mental health. It's like carrying more than one bag and becoming frustrated as you try to make it home without dropping it everywhere. We've all been there, haven't we? 

Mental health in 2020 is still as important as it was in 2019. In fact, recently Love Island presenter Caroline Flack took her own life at the age of 40 and I lost someone I know to suicide. The pain I am currently experiencing is indescribable and I'm really struggling with my mental health right now. Let 2020 be the wake up you need to do more to reach out to people or gain a better understanding of mental health. We can all do something to help others. I've decided to create a list that people struggling with mental health wish you'd realise. 



1. I don't get to choose what I am anxious or down about. Don't badger me to "tell you" because 9 out of 10 times I don't know myself. 

2. Sometimes it takes a heck of a lot of energy to do the little things, like to get ready for work in the morning. Just because I don't feel up to it today doesn't mean I am lazy or unambitious or whatnot. Sometimes, I just feel drained mentally and emotionally. Just give me space. 

3. Depression isn't "sadness". If I could describe it for people, it's like a constant feeling of despair, exhaustion and a lack of fulfilment from life. 

4. I don't have to cry or be anxious every day to be suffering. Yes, I hide it well beneath a laugh, a smile or other emotions but it doesn't mean I am "cured" or have been overdramatic. Some days are better than others for me. It's not attention-seeking either folks. 

5. I promise I AM trying to be the best I can be. My best just looks different from yours. 

6. Mental disorders are not always beautiful or sympathetic like you see in the movies.

7. Medication is a necessity for some people, if someone you know and love are on medication do not judge them, do not tell them to stop taking their meds, do not tell them they seem fine and don't need meds, it's their choice, respect their choice. Likewise, if you know someone who doesn't want to take medication, no matter how much you think they need it, support their decision. 

READ MORE: Anchoring Anxiety with Tales of Annie Bean. 

8. I desperately want to not be a difficult person, but I'm probably always going to be difficult to be around. 

9. Even if I've had the most amazing day with my loved ones, I still go to bed feeling anxious and worried and really down about anything and everything. 

10. Sometimes I don't reach out because a voice inside tells me that everyone hates me. If a friend told me they loved me and were there to listen, it can definitely lift my self-confidence and makes me want to reach out to people more often. 

11. Your way of thinking is not the only valid way of thinking, it's not helpful either to insist that it is. Telling us why we should just look at something your particular way isn't helpful, and it's exhausting. You can't see what is going on in my mind, it's a disorder you can't see.



12. Mental health disorders are not black and white. The spectrum is large and it affects people differently. I suffer differently to the next person you meet with a mental health disorder. Don't assume we're all the same. 

13. "Don't judge a book by their cover". Everyone's story is different, you don't know what is behind their actions or words. 

14. The slightest mean or offensive comment can have me feeling down for days, or has me re-evaluating my whole life. 

15. I love hanging out with my friends but I won't tell you that because I don't want to pressure you into thinking that you have to be with me because you feel bad otherwise. And the reason why I go no-contact isn't because I'm trying to avoid you- it's just that my brain has convinced me that you secretly hate me and I need a lot of space.  

READ MORE: "It's no surprise that mental ill health is on the rise in children" - Experiencing Mental Health at School.

16. If I want to talk, I will. It may or may not be with you, that's my decision to make. 

17. Don't try and tell me that everyone deals with depression or anxiety. Me having an anxiety attack and you getting nervous before a big test is two very different things. 

18. I won't put myself in a social situation that makes me feel uncomfortable. Social anxiety makes it hard to hang out in large groups, don't make me feel any more guilty than I already do about not accepting your invitation to dinner. 

19. Mental health can happen to you. Like pressing a button, it can happen to you. 

20. I don't need you to understand what I'm dealing with, because it's not yours to understand. What I need is for you to accept it. 


21. If my mental health is becoming a massive pain in the ass to you, then I totally understand you distancing yourself from me. I wouldn't want to have to deal with me either and it's happened before. 

22. You can't fix me. 

23. Sometimes needing space is just that, needing quiet and time and space. It's how I process, cope and recover. You don't need to fuss on me, unless I ask or something. 

24. Please think before you speak. Words can be so damaging to a fragile mind. 

25. "We all have our problems" or "Other people have it worse than you, you know" could not be any less helpful. 

26. The friend that disappears, no calls no texts, and then shows back up like nothing happened isn't flighty or angry at you; they're depressed. Make sure you reach out to people. 

27. It's not obvious that everyone struggles. 

Comments

  1. I love this post Emmie, I wish a lot more people could read this and be a lot more understanding with people and mental health problems! x

    Lucy | www.lucymary.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  2. I am so, so sorry to hear you lost someone to suicide. This post is so informative xxx

    ReplyDelete

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