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10 Everyday Challenges Those With Mental Illness Might Recognize


My mental illness is not tragically beautiful. It’s not romantic. It’s not pretty black and white photos with heartfelt quotes, or long texts about the difficulties of life. Mental illness can be ugly. It can be harsh, relentless and ruthless. It hits you during the worst of moments, during your worst and your best days. It does not discriminate; mental illness can affect everyone and anyone, at any time. It can be nothing short of horribly exhausting and dreadful.

Mental illness can be a lot of things, so here are 10 things you might recognize in your own experience:

1. Hollowed cheeks and dark circles under your eyes from the long sleepless nights worrying about the past and the future.

2. Not showering for days because you cannot find the energy to even get out of bed.

3. Similarly, not being able to get out of bed to do the simplest of things, like doing the laundry or brushing your teeth.

4. The headaches the constant anxiety and worrying gives you, but not having the courage to do anything about that anxiety.

5. Not talking to anyone for days because the thought of bothering even your family terrifies you, or because even opening your mouth requires too much energy.

6. Failing classes or underperforming at work because of the absence of any motivation to do anything whatsoever.

7. The constant feeling of isolation, loneliness or abandonment, no matter how many people are around you.

8. The sudden and constant insecurities you have in relationships, no matter how much reassurance your partner or friend gives you.

9. The bitten nails, the pulled hair and the scarred skin.

10. Fighting a war inside your mind every second of the day, every day of the year, with no option to run away, because that would mean running away from yourself.

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Thinkstock photo via Marjot