Vector illustration of the two similar girl, proud girl and kind girl

When Mental Illness Convinces Me My Friends Hate Me

7k
7k
40

Hello/Hi/How are you?

You tell me we’re friends. You tell me you love me — that you enjoy my company. You tell me you like talking to me. We’ve been friends for a numbers of years, and we’ve shared countless memories. But my head says different. My head says you feel sorry for me. My head says you don’t love me, you pity me instead. It says you don’t enjoy my company, you actually despise it. My head tells me you can’t stand our conversations, and although we have all these memories, they don’t have any value. It’s not because I don’t love you — because I do. I love our friendship, I love all our times together. But my head does this because deep down I don’t find myself worthy of your friendship. That’s because my head doesn’t allow me to love myself.

Call it anxiety, call it depression. I know it’s stemming from an issue with my mental health. I know these thoughts and fears of you not loving me are deceitful. It would be ridiculous to think you’d go through everything with me just because you hate me. You have proven your worth to me. I see you, I respect you. But I can’t fight these thoughts the second you miss my call, you ignore my text, you screen me. I can’t stop feeling this way when you don’t laugh at my jokes or want to see me. You can’t be there for me all the time, and that’s reasonable. When my head gets like this though, in full on panic/paranoid mode, I can’t stop thinking it’s because you don’t love me.

Still, despite my fears and doubts, I know you love me. I know if you knew I felt this way it would make you sad, it would make you want to help me. You’ll reassure me a hundred times, but I’ll need reassurance one hundred and one times. You’ll tell me it’s OK, but I need to hear it’s great. When I get this way, I feel needy. I need you to tell me we’re fine. I may even act different around you. It will be aggravating, to try to get me to come out of my shell again and again. Sometimes these feelings may get repetitive and annoying. But your reassurance fills me with optimism. Every promise you make is attacking these negative thoughts I’m having.

Having a mental illness sucks, I’ll put that in simple terms. But one of the most challenging parts of having a mental illness is doubting my friendship with you. I recognize what we have, and I don’t want to lose you. I want to take selfies, and go exploring. I want to go on friend dates and have craft days. I can be an amazing friend — just remember sometimes I need a little extra TLC to get through my gray days, and I promise eventually I’ll come shinning right back.

With hope and love,

Your Friend With a Mental Illness

Follow this journey on Taylor Nicole.

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

Thinkstock photo via marzacz.

7k
7k
40

RELATED VIDEOS

TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Why Mandy Harvey's Song 'Try' Is My Depression Anthem

226
226
0

Mandy Harvey is an “America’s Got Talent” gold buzzer winner. She lost her hearing when she was 18 years old. She wrote the song “Try” as a way to keep her spirits up despite not being able to hear. When I first heard the song, I broke out into tears. I was extremely suicidal at the time and this song was the only thing that made me stop and think that I could keep trying no matter what happens. The song gave me the hope I had lost and made me want to keep living. While I’m not sure whether Mandy was trying to suggest struggling with depression, I find that it greatly applies to the lyrics.

Mandy’s first line is “I don’t feel the way I used to/ The sky is gray much more than it is blue/ But I know one day I’ll get through.” I find that this relates to depression because when I am depressed, I spend a lot of time thinking negatively and it feels like there is a dark cloud following me everywhere I go. But sometimes, there is a little bit of hope that I will get through it to the other side and feel better again someday. To hear this sort of thing acknowledged in a song is rare and completely relatable to me, and I’m assuming might be for others who struggle with depression. It is also remarkable because I find that many songs do not hit the nail on the head the way that “Try” does.

Mandy goes on to sing, “So I will try/ So I will try/ I don’t love the way I need to/ You need more and I know that much is true/ So I’ll fight for our breakthrough and I’ll breathe in you again.” This line could be taken in two different ways. The “you” Mandy is referring to could be herself. She could be trying to say that it’s important, yet difficult, to love yourself and to be who you really are when you’re struggling with depression. I know that this is true for me. When I don’t feel good about my life, I don’t feel good about myself. However, the “you” could also be someone else in her life who is struggling to love because they do not feel well themselves. When I am depressed, I tend to isolate and not give others the love they deserve. I can be nasty toward family and friends because I don’t feel good.

Other powerful lines I found in the song were: “There is no one but me to blame ‘cause I know the only thing in my way is me/ I don’t live the way I used to/ That whole picture never came into view.” These lines are powerful, yet I find them a little trickier, as they do not quite acknowledge the fact that mental illness can get in the way. What I find most relatable is that I think we do have the power to take control of our illnesses and lead healthy and productive lives. This is why it’s important to seek help and treatment if you’re struggling. I was once told, “It is like you have a broken arm in your brain.” I agree with this, because broken bones do heal. If we don’t take care of ourselves, then we are in our own way. There was once a time when those struggling with depression were happy and had dreams they believed they could achieve. Depression can rob so much life from a person, that it can be hard to feel successful or like you’re moving forward. That is why I will reiterate how important it is to seek help — to care for the broken arm in your brain.

Whether it was Mandy’s intention or not, the song is a sort of anthem to my depression. It speaks for depression and allows me to feel validated and perhaps even understood. Someone with depression could listen to this song and think “this is totally me.” And I will be completely honest with you; when I first heard it, I cried and realized that it’s worth it to keep trying and to live my life. This song literally saved my life. I hope this song is as powerful to others as it was to me.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

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

Lead image via America’s Got Talent YouTube channel

226
226
0
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

15 Responses to 'Depression Isn't Real' You Can Use When People Doubt Your Mental Illness

622
622
7

Andrew Tate, a kickboxer and former cast mate of “Big Brother UK,” tweeted on Sept. 7 that “depression isn’t real” to over 26 thousand followers.

This tweet was just the beginning of a series of tweets, including his opinions about how people with depression are “too lazy to change,” and how depression is used as an excuse to “absolve responsibilities.”

We, of course, know this isn’t true — and that statements like these add to the stigma surrounding mental illness. People, including celebrities, have since spoken out against Tate’s tweets. Their responses might be useful if people doubt your mental illness, too.

What response would you add?

622
622
7
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

8 Lies Depression Makes Me Believe About Myself

136
136
0

I have chronic anxiety and depression. I am 68. The prednisone I have to take for asthma sometimes has a huge impact on my mental health. It tips me into deep depression. At least I know why I am feeling so low.

When this happens, I think dreadful things about myself. I need to not believe my thoughts. My thoughts become more and more morose as I slip into depression. It’s like a big black hole that is a whirlpool that drags you downwards and doesn’t let you out!

These are some of the things I think about myself when I am severely depressed. These are the thoughts I need to stop believing.

1. I am useless.

No, I am not useless. This is my depression talking to me! It is the same way as how the bottle talks for the alcoholic. I can no longer do the things I used to do.  Some days I can do very little at all. But that does not me I am useless. My chronic illness has resulted in me having to change the way I live my life.

2. I am “stupid.”

No, that just isn’t true. I am an intelligent woman who successfully worked in a profession. Anyone can have depression and this has nothing whatsoever to do with intelligence or common sense.

3. I am worthless.

Society sets such high value on wealth and acquiring things. It holds these things in esteem. I don’t actually value wealth and things. Worth is not linked to healthiness either. My worth isn’t from extrinsic things. It is based on the inside qualities I have such as kindness and compassion. Being chronically ill does not define my worth as a human being.

4. I am just a burden.

It is hard to have to ask for help and to accept that I need to do this. This doesn’t make me a burden. Being ill is a part of life just as all he fun and enjoyable parts are. Illness can be difficult. I would not hesitate to be my husband’s carer so why believe he doesn’t feel the same way? Depression grabs this thought to just take me deeper into that black hole.

5. Things are hopeless.

No. I won’t ever be cured, that’s what chronic means. But life is still good. Again, this is rampant depression trying to undermine me. 

6. What is the point of constant drugs and medical help?

This thought is itself pointless! My illnesses require the help of modern medicine and I have much in life for which to be grateful. It sometimes feels like a bit of a merry go round. Life without my medication just wouldn’t be possible! So this thought is ridiculous! 

7. No one cares.

Don’t believe this one! This one is depression at its worst. This one can be really destructive. I can make a long list of people who care deeply. 

8. I can’t do anything.

No. There are many things I can do and still do. Yes, things have changed, and yes, there are some things I can no longer do. But life is a continuous series of changes. Depression’s thoughts are always so negative! Another thought to be rejected. 

I am not my thoughts. Depression produces thoughts that try to take over and the thoughts are extremely unhelpful. My thoughts are sometimes totally untrue. They can produce awful feelings if I don’t challenge them. I need to remember to not believe everything I think.

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.

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

Unsplash photo via Angelina Litvin.

136
136
0
TOPICS
, Contributor list
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

What Happened When I Called a Suicide Hotline

984
984
14

With National Suicide Prevention Week taking place, and after recently witnessed a friend close to suicide, I thought now would be a good time to share my story.

From the age of 14, I’ve struggled with depression. Mental Illness has always been present in my family, but I wasn’t quite so aware of it at a young age. However, in my teens, it hit me full throttle. After an assault, which I won’t delve into, I started self-harming and soon became diagnosed with depression. None of my friends knew much about it, and I soon felt isolated and “different.”

Fast forward a few years and I decided to move schools. I was confident I could start fresh, but my low mood came with me. I found it impossible to make friends. I lasted a year and moved back to my original school to finish my studies.

Nothing had changed. Wherever I ran, depression followed. I avoided all social interaction and lunchtimes were filled with anxiety. I soon developed anorexia. I wanted to die from it, then I might be noticed.

After passing my exams and being able to visualize a life away from school, away from my trauma, I began recovery. It wasn’t easy, and it certainly was emotional. But over time I got better. It took years, but I was able to beat it. My body was healthy again and the doctors backed off, but what no one noticed was that my mind was still not well.

If anorexia didn’t get me noticed then what would… a funeral?

I have attempted suicide three times in my life. Twice I was sound enough to know I might be “savable.” The third time is was just luck that I survived.

In all three of those moments it felt like life had no purpose. I felt trapped, as if death was the only way out. Looking back, I know this was just a veil over my eyes by my depression. There was always a way out. However, I know that any day this feeling of complete entrapment could reappear.

After all I’ve been though, it’s important for me to have a reliable crisis plan on hand. I know my mind better than anyone, and I know what helps. Nothing is better than having someone to talk to, in my experience. Someone to reason with and listen to what I have to say. Or even someone to fill the silence when I cannot summon any words. This is where crisis hotlines come to mind.

I’d always secretly thought that calling a crisis hotline was attention seeking — that it was just looking for one more person to cry and complain to. But it’s not at all. I had been given the Samaritans hotline from a pen-pal, and it was stuck on my fridge, hidden under photos so friends and family wouldn’t see it. But one evening, when I felt trapped yet again, and I had no one else to call, I tentatively dialed the number.

Honestly, I was expecting an elderly, patronizing woman to answer and blurt a load of motivational quotes at me. For some reason, I imagined them having a set “template” for conversation, and that once they reached the end, they would hang up if I was ready or not. But the man who answered simply asked what I wanted to talk about. I was in charge and if I wanted to talk I could, or if I wanted to breathe down the phone I could. I felt like at that moment my sole purpose was to stay alive so I could have this conversation, and everything else went away.

I don’t think I made much sense, you never do in a crisis really, but he listened. He let me ramble and he spoke and comforted me. It wasn’t a, “Don’t kill yourself,” conversation, but more of a, “Why do you want to?” conversation. A rational, grounding conversation.

When I became silent, he asked if I wanted to stay on the line or not. If I was unable to answer, he stayed. He was patient. Even if I gave a whimper. And when I eventually felt ready to face the word again, I said thank you and hung up.

I wish I could say thank you to that man. I’ve never had to call again. Yes, I’ve felt trapped many more times, but I have been strong enough to fight. Maybe one day I will call them again, maybe one day a friend will call for me, or I will call for them.

But the important thing to remember is that these lines are here for a reason and that they are not embarrassing or intrusive. There is a real person on the end of the line who cares about you, and is connected to you in that moment. If you ever feel alone, or like there is no other option, I can honestly recommend giving them a call.

You will not regret continuing to live.

Follow this journey on Nicola Davis Crafts.

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, the Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or text “HOME” to 741-741. Head here for a list of crisis centers around the world.

Thinkstock photo via alexis84

984
984
14
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

The Question My Friend Asked That Gave Me Hope When I Was Struggling With Depression

133
133
0

I went to grab coffee with my youth leader the other morning before I left for college. Through over five years of depression and close attempts to end my life, she has been there. She knows me. She knows when I get quiet, I’m thinking but don’t know how to put my thoughts into words. She knows that when I text her saying I’d like to get coffee because so much has been going on in my life, I won’t be able to talk as much I let on. She knows it gives me anxiety. She knows I need to hear basic truths because most of what I believe about myself during these times are lies, and I don’t always recognize that. She knows me really well.

I was going through a lot this summer and it wasn’t until I started talking to her that I realized how lost I was really feeling. How hopeless I was feeling. How just utterly and completely exhausted I felt. This was the first time I had been honest with anyone about all of it this entire summer. But it was the biggest relief. Just being able to sit there with it all on the table — open, honest and broken — it was unbelievably freeing.

But it was also painful. I realized I was feeling so far gone, and so incredibly hopeless. At one point, after a few minutes of silence, she asked me:

“What gives you hope?”

I replied, “Honestly, I don’t know right now”

She responded, “You don’t know or nothing does?”

As soon as she said that, it was like a lightbulb went off. It hit so hard. Like of course there are small things that normally give me hope, like sunrises and coffee shops and friendly smiles, but sometimes they’re not enough. Sometimes nothing is enough. Nothing gives me hope. But, the simple fact that someone realized nothing gave me hope, was the very thing that gave me hope.

Knowing that someone could look at me, as empty and broken as I was, recognize I couldn’t see any light right now and still sit there with me — that was beautiful. People like this are people who can give you that extra push just to make it through the day, which sometimes, is all you can do.

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.

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

Unsplash photo via Jorge Flores.

133
133
0
TOPICS
JOIN THE CONVERSATION

Real People. Real Stories.

8,000
CONTRIBUTORS
150 Million
READERS

We face disability, disease and mental illness together.