A Reminder for When People Don't Take Your Mental Illness Seriously


This piece was written by a Thought Catalog contributor.

It’s hard because, I can feel terrible one day and fabulous the next. And people don’t understand it. They say, “Well if you have anxiety, you should have it all the time.” And they say, “Well you don’t look like the type of person to have depression.”

People need to realize everyone’s brains are wired differently. Everyone needs different amounts of care and medicine. I have a close friend who takes the smallest dosage of medication, meanwhile I take the highest amount of mine. It doesn’t mean her anxiety is any less significant than mine.

Not everyone with anxiety is going to have the same symptoms. Not everyone with depression is going to “seem” like it. In fact, if you look around the circle of your friends, you probably think you’re all alone with your mental illness. But I can almost guarantee you, you’re not.

Everyone single person you know is fighting something.

Mental illnesses are incredibly common. And you know what? They aren’t fun. They aren’t cool. They aren’t pretty or beautiful.

They. Are. Hard.

Whatever mental health difficulty you are struggling with, I want you to know whether it’s “high-functioning” or “low functioning,” it’s still an illness. It still matters. It is still legitimate. And it doesn’t mean you struggle any less or more than other people who struggle.

Take care of yourself. Get yourself the medication you need with the help of a doctor. Don’t listen to the people who question it. Who question you. They don’t understand what you go through on a day-to-day basis. They don’t understand what you go through when you’re struggling.

Don’t let anybody say their struggle is greater than yours. Don’t let anybody compare your illness to theirs. And don’t let someone say you don’t need help because you look “fine.”

You are the only one who knows your body like you do. You are the only one who lives in your head and in your mind. Your feelings are valid. Your illness is real. And it doesn’t matter what people label it as. It doesn’t matter how many people tell you you’re “weak” or “small” or “lying.” If they don’t get it, it’s their problem.

It’s possible to feel like you are dying on the inside while doing laundry. While trying to sleep. While working. While breathing. And at the end of the day, no one will ever know how much you struggle.

And at the end of the day, no one knows your truth — except for you.

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Thinkstock photo via meyrass.


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