To Those Who Have Loved Ones With Mental Health Issues

To whom it may concern,

I know this may be difficult for you to understand, to wrap your head around. You may be wondering how this happened, especially if we weren’t always like this. Maybe you think we do this for attention or out of immaturity. I assure you this is not true. Going through this is not easy for us!

For each of us it’s different; something that somehow triggered this awful feeling — set things in motion. Most of us fight every day to get through this, even if it’s hard to see at times.

We are fighters. While you may think of us as weak and though we may occasionally feel that way, we are actually strong. Every day we get up and try. Even if our steps may appear small, they are important, vital and significant.

Now, you may look at us and wonder, what’s wrong with them? You may see us struggling with the simplest of tasks and wonder why they seem so difficult to us. Trust me when I say, we wonder the same thing.

You may be wondering why I’m writing this letter. I’m writing it to raise awareness. I know this won’t solve everything and I know even after reading this, anxiety and other mental health issues may still seem impossible to understand. The truth is though, whether or not they are understood doesn’t make them any less real or any less scary.

So what can you do to help your loved ones? For starters, you can ask them. We all struggle with different issues, in different ways. Also, a great way to help is to listen and to respect the person who is struggling. You may not truly understand what they go through, but that doesn’t mean you can’t offer a listening ear or your simple respect. In addition, please understand we are just like everyone else and many of us can function quite normally when our anxiety or other mental health issues aren’t active (what I mean by this is that they’re not currently overwhelming). I know for myself, there are many times when I’m quite fine and don’t feel anxious at all. There are other times when I get incredibly anxious.

The most important thing there is to know is that even if you don’t experience the same feelings as your loved ones, you can and should still try to help. Even if you don’t understand how something helps, if it’s not harmful to anybody, why not help? We all need help sometimes, whether it’s because we struggle with mental health issues or not.

So please be kind. Please try to help one another. Please don’t judge what you don’t truly understand. Please, whether you understand what we go through or not, try your hardest to help in a positive way. Thank you!

Follow this journey on Getting Through Anxiety.

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Mental Health

Young woman with eyes closed, head in hands,

To Those Who Are Exhuasted From Living With a Mental Illness

One aspect of living with a mental illness very few people talk about is the exhaustion you feel after completing simple day-to-day activities. Just getting out of bed is sometimes the hardest thing to overcome. Then, you have to complete simple tasks like brushing your teeth, changing your clothes and putting on makeup to look [...]
therapist and little girl

Finding the Right Therapist for Your Child

To most parents, their child is the most important part of their world. When you are looking to reach out to get help for your child you are allowing someone else access to their inner world. No wonder this can feel so threatening. There aren’t as many child and youth therapists around as there are [...]
A woman standing under an umbrella

To the One Walking Through the Storm of Mental Illness

Dear You, I know you’re sad and tired. I know you wish you could disappear. I know you’re hurting. I know you’re lonely. I know you feel like everything is falling apart. I know you’ve lost hope and faith. I know the world has knocked you down to your knees. I know you don’t want [...]
two woman talking and drinking coffee

The Importance of Finding Your 'Tribe' When You Live With a Mental Illness

There is an old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Until recently, I didn’t realize the importance of having your own tribe. No, I am not talking about having a tribe of children. I am talking about having people around you to call your own, whether they be blood relations, friends or [...]