A notebook that reads: If your mental illness makes you feel like too much, read this

For some people who live with a mental illness, there’s this fear of being “too much.” Like you need too much support, too much help or have too many needs. Sometimes this fear stems from being in an unsupportive environment; sometimes it comes from our perception of ourselves, as if reaching out to someone — even for the smallest thing — will make us a burden, will make us too much.

We want you to know you are never too much.

Everyone deserves support, and everyone deserves to feel the emotions they feel — no matter how big or how small they are.

We asked people in our community to share one thing they would want to tell someone with a mental illness who feels like they’re “too much.”

Here’s what they shared with us:

1. “You have so much value. Your ‘too much’ is actually just your amazingness overflowing. You are loved by those who deserve to love you. Those who don’t, aren’t worthy of you.” — Abbey T.

2. “Things happen that are out of your control, and sometimes this relates to mental health as well. Never feel like you’re too much, sometimes you need extra support from a parent, guardian or friend. No one chooses this, it just happens. Accept yourself for who you are.” — Cara H.

3. “Sometimes it’s not about you being ‘too much’ — sometimes it’s about the people around us being ‘too little.’ Little understanding, little empathy, little support… but for every ‘too little’ person there’s always going to be at least one ‘just fine’ person. Fine with your mental illness, fine with understanding you, fine with helping you, fine with supporting you. Fine people are out there so don’t think of yourself as too much!” — Yazmin B.

4. “I always remind myself and others feeling this way that your space in this world is not conditional. You do not have to shrink yourself or cut parts of yourself off to fit into a box you feel you ‘should’ be in, whether it’s your illness or other people that are making you feel that way. Recovery is only possible by allowing yourself to be everything that you are, to feel everything that you need to feel. You are entitled to take up space, you are allowed to feel the way you feel, you are allowed to ask for help.” — Charlotte M.

5. “You are absolutely worthy of happiness, kindness and life itself. Your illness is lying to you by making you think you are too much, because you are loved and wanted by so many.” — Megan E.

6. “You’re worth it… On your worst days I am here if you need a shoulder. This is something I would like to hear now.” — Kim W.

7. “It’s OK to have good and bad days… I will be there for them no matter what. I will be their light in the darkness.” — Katie W.

8. “You are never too much. You’re just right for me and everyone who loves you.” — Kassy P.

9. “I constantly feel like I am too much. I take everything to heart. I feel everything. I read too much into every single thing. I analyze everything, then overanalyze it again until I become ill. I wish my friends would tell me they appreciate me, that they appreciate having someone who cares that much. That it’s OK that I worry.” — Annie T.

10. “You are just enough. Never too much, never too little: just the right amount you are.” — Schelley K.

11. “You are not alone in your feelings.” — Trish L.

12. “You may be too much for some people. That’s OK. Find those who crave your intensity, who love your ‘muchness,’ who encourage every bit of your wild heart to escape, to shine, to explore. The ones worth knowing will love every part of you: the darkness and the light, the ups and the downs. Let your ‘too much’ be your fuel, not your downfall.” — Alicia T.



If Your Mental Illness Makes You Feel Like 'Too Much,' Read This

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Bravery.

Some of us are brave for giving speeches in front of thousands of people. Others of us are brave for learning to walk after an invasive surgery. Some of us are brave enough to put our lives on the line to promote a cause we so desperately believe in. 

For some of us that kind of brave is reaching out of the comfort zone. Throwing yourself out there. Taking that step when the other side can’t be seen. That is one kind of brave.

My kind of brave is different.

My kind of brave is waking up every morning and telling myself to get out of bed. My kind of brave is swallowing those newly prescribed antipsychotics every day and praying that they might eventually work. My kind of brave is telling the people I know about my mental illness, all the while knowing they will judge me.

And my kind of brave is choosing life. Yes, that’s my kind of brave.

And, because you woke up today, I’m here to tell you that you are brave, too. If this is the last day you can bring yourself to muster. If you are holding on by a thread that threatens to break. If you are contemplating a way to stop the madness. 

Stop.

Don’t.

Be brave.

I know the struggle. I know the darkness. I know the suffering. I know the pain. I know the numbness. I know the chaos. And I know you think that in a single instant you could end it all.

Don’t.

Be brave for one more day.

And after that, be brave for the next.

Sometimes being brave isn’t climbing mountains. Sometimes being brave is as simple as finding the impossible will to make it through one more day.

So, please remind yourself of this today: 

You are brave. 

You’ve started another day. 

I don’t know how many days it will take for you to get better. 

But, I do know this: 

You will make it.

So, when you don’t want to wake up tomorrow, and it all feels like it’s just too much.

Please remember this:

You can make it through another day.

You are brave.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

Editor’s note: Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

 Thinkstock photo via sultancicekgil


To many, Selena Gomez is one of the more relatable celebrities out there. Over the course of her career, the 24-year-old has opened up about living with lupus as well as seeking treatment for depression and anxiety. Now, in an interview with Vogue, the singer is sharing some lessons she’s learned since taking time off to address her mental health.

In October, Gomez canceled her second tour to enter a treatment facility to manage the anxiety and depression she experiences as a result of Lupus. “I’ve discovered that anxiety, panic attacks and depression can be side effects of lupus, which can present their own challenges,” the singer told People back in 2014, after she canceled her first tour.

Now, Gomez tells Vogue she meets with her “shrink” five times per week and is a “passionate advocate” of dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) – a specific type of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) that can help people with borderline personality disorder. “DBT has completely changed my life,” Gomez told Vogue. “I wish more people would talk about therapy. We girls, we’re taught to be almost too resilient, to be strong and sexy and cool and laid-back, the girl who’s down. We also need to feel allowed to fall apart.”

This isn’t the first time Gomez has spoken openly about her mental health. In November, the singer gave a speech at the American Musical Awards stating:

And I have to say thank you so much to my fans because you guys are so damn loyal, and I don’t know what I did to deserve you. But if you are broken, you do not have to stay broken. And if that’s anything, whether you respect me or not, that’s one thing you should know about me is that I care about people, and thank you so much for this, this is for you. Thank you.

Photo credit: Amanda Nobles


I’ve never been great at fitting in. I was the shy, anxious child at primary school who once slipped through the gates and tried to go home in the middle of the day because it all felt too much.

I was the socially-awkward teenager who spent her secondary school days trying to work out which squad she belonged to.

I was the university student who always felt on the fringes of whatever was going on, making drinking buddies but no meaningful friendships.

I was the postgraduate student living in a house of undergraduates, silently cursing them for their loud music and piles of dirty dishes while putting in hours and hours of study.

“Otherness” is not a new experience for me. But the otherness that comes with mental illness is a whole different ball game.

Great strides are being made into removing the stigma of mental illness, but there’s still a big, big difference between the “socially acceptable” face of mental illness and the grim, twisted, life-shattering reality.

With one in four people suffering from mental health problems, there’s no longer any shame in admitting that you’re depressed, or have anxiety. Antidepressants are some of the most commonly prescribed medications and counseling is no longer a shameful secret.

But other mental illnesses seem different. It’s what I’ve lives with, and I feel there’s nothing “socially acceptable” about it. It’s ugly. It’s violent. It’s shocking. And it makes me “other.”

My otherness is marked out by the scars that draw the map of my illness across my body, scars put there by my own hand. When I go swimming with my children, or wear a sleeveless top on a hot day, I am “other.”

It’s marked out by the medication I take every day: not just antidepressants, but antipsychotics and, at times, benzodiazepines. When I’m out for the evening with friends and my speech is slurred and my eyelids droopy, I am “other.”

It’s in the psychology appointments that I go to every Thursday, to help me unpick the chaos that mental illness has wrought in my life. When I walk into the building from which the community mental health team operates, I am “other.”

When I can no longer help with the church work that I loved so much because of my mental health, and have to sit back and watch while everything carries on without me, I am “other.”

My otherness comes from the time I spent in an inpatient psychiatric unit. There’s no shame in being admitted to a medical hospital with a physical health issue. But my stint in the “loony bin” definitely makes me “other.”

When I stand in the school playground and fight to suppress the waves of panic rolling over me, instead of joining in with the daily chatter, I am “other.”

When people find out that I almost lost my life to suicide – a feeling you can only  understand if you’re truly desperate and truly lost, there’s no doubt that I am “other.”

And do you know what? I hate it. Because I’m not the threat, the danger, the scary “other” person everyone seems to think I am.

Yes, I have a mental illness, but I still love, care, work, play, pray. I raise my two beautiful children. I have a successful career as a freelance writer. I have a home that I take care of to the best of my ability. I have a husband who I try to look after. I have friends who mean the world to me.

I love swimming in cold lakes and rivers, and reading in the garden on sunny days. I love to sing in church. I love pulling on my pajamas at the end of the day and snuggling up to watch something trashy on TV. I love curling my hair and painting my nails for nights out. I love digging through the rails in charity shops, looking for a bargain. I love going to the cinema and for cocktails with friends. I love to bake cakes, and give them to people who’ll enjoy them. I love pasta, chocolate, cheese and good red wine.

I’m normal – except for my mental illness, that malfunction in my brain that makes me different. So please, please, before you raise your eyebrows at my scars, or ignore my text because you’re afraid of what I might ask, or pretend you haven’t seen me in the school playground, or worry about whether I’m safe to babysit your child, please just give me a chance.

Because I don’t want to be “other” any more.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via tommaso79


I sit there staring at you. Just staring. I don’t know what to say or how to react. I know you need me, but the truth is, I really need you too. You’re my rock, as I am yours. Together we can defeat this monster that lurks inside our brains. It’s tearing us apart from each other. We have to stay strong, because before we know it, I can’t come and see you. I want to see you, I really do. Living on my own is tough. No one there when you need a hug. I’ve needed to wake up and see you on the other side of the room snuggled up in bed too. Where are you now? You’re still at home, with Mum and Dad. I should have stayed. Believe me, I wish I had. Sometimes though, I think we are closer now. Now we have the space apart to breathe.

Being there for you, when I have a mental illness too, is the hardest thing I have ever had to face. I can’t even look after myself some days. You ring me up, shouting, crying. I can’t cope. I get upset back. I put the phone down. Then my anxiety kicks in and I’ve lost it. We are both having meltdowns but in totally different places. We need each other but it’s too hard to be there for the other person when you’re struggling yourself. Parents torn in two. Who do they look after first? Who needs their attention today?

It’s so hard being there for a loved one when you also need them to be there for you. On my bad days, all I can manage is a text. I can’t even get out of bed to get something to eat. So when you ask if we can hang out, like the old times, I feel guilty. I cry at the feeling I’m not a good enough person. I hate myself. I should put all my problems aside and be there. I know I should. I can’t cope, though. Watching you struggle just like me is heart-wrenching. My heart tears in two because all I want in the entire world is for you to get better. For you to go out and be happy. When you’re having a bad day, it makes me have a bad day. You’re my friend. I know you’re not well. Neither am I. Maybe we can fight this together?

I sit there staring at you. I take a minute to breathe. Then I say, “how are you feeling today?”

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Thinkstock photo via oneinchpunch


“But you’re smiling.”

“You look so happy.”

“I’m so glad that you’re better now.”

Like everybody else, I have good days and bad days. But what I also have are depression, anxiety and borderline personality disorder. What that means is that I spend a lot of time anxious, worrying and well, depressed.

I think there is a common misconception about depression. To those who haven’t experienced it first hand or witnessed it in real life, it’s hard to have an accurate representation of what it is when it is constantly being romanticized in the media we consume every day.

It’s not always self-harm. It’s not always laying on the floor, wide-eyed and pondering. It’s not always tears and being curled up. And it’s not always “being depressed.”

Depressive episodes happen, but having depression doesn’t mean I’m depressed all the time. I still have the ability to smile. I can appreciate the beauty of life around me. I can still love the people in my life, even if I can’t show it all the time.

Funny movies are still funny. I can appreciate when my sister tells me to smile. My favorite meal is still delicious.

But having a good day doesn’t mean I’m cured. Please do not dismiss or invalidate an illness that affects the everyday lives of millions of people. Whether it’s just putting on a brave face or trying to enjoy a precious happy moment, please understand my battle isn’t over.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via fona2

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