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5 Things I Need You to Know About My Mental Health

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1. It’s so much more than what people make it out to be.

It’s more than being anxious during a presentation. It’s more than feeling depressed about grades. It’s so much more than what people make it out to be. Depression and anxiety to others is known as being sad about anything in general and anxious about the little things. Yes, I get sad over sad things and yes, I get anxious about little things. Those little things include: my family situation, my social life, extended family, the list goes on and on and on. My depression includes the complicated things in life, how I feel about myself and how I manage to take care of others before myself. Those are only the roots to issues — they always grow from there. Severe depression and anxiety is more than what it is put out to be and that’s what upsets me most. People do not consider these conditions.

2. It’s a sensitive topic.

To some people, I can easily open up and talk about it. To others, it’s sometimes one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. For example, it’s hard to communicate to teachers sometimes because they don’t understand and sometimes they can’t understand. I would consider myself close with staff, but I don’t like to be looked at the way I really am on the inside. When people find out about my conditions, I get the sense people look at me differently. This may not even be the case, but it’s just one of those things about anxiety. I feel self-conscious when people hear about me. Endless thoughts circle my mind and constantly worry me.

3. There isn’t a manual for being there for me.

As much as I wish there was, there isn’t. There are no instructions on what to say when I am relapsing, or even when I am just crying. When people say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know what to say,” I always respond with, “I don’t expect you to, it’s fine, really,” because there isn’t a script. The only person who knows what to say to me when I am down is my psychiatrist. She’s the one with the master’s degree. I don’t expect them to know how to handle these situations. If there was a book written on how to help me with my mental illness, I would buy everyone a copy. Unfortunately, there’s only comfort. Personally, comfort is all I need. I don’t need people to solve my problems, I just want them to be there.

4. I want to be invited.

“We just assumed you wouldn’t want to come,” is the phrase that upsets me most.

Yes, I know I turn things down, but it doesn’t mean I will always turn down an invitation. Some days I want to leave the house. Others, I can hardly find myself to even get out of bed. Majority of the time, it’s me turning down an offer. That’s just how things are for me. And while it’s true I am often more in the depressed mood than not, when my friends tell me they assumed I didn’t want to come, I feel enraged because I know I could be doing something. But instead I am laying down, beating myself up about it. When this happens, I feel like it was something I did and it’s why I react in such a negative way. I am not saying I want to be invited to every little thing, the point is if I am going to get the assumption text, I would like to be at least invited. In my mind, everything goes a long way.

5. I get scared when I relapse.

December 7, 2015 was the first time I actually dared to take care of myself. I was admitted to the hospital and released eight days later. During the last meeting with my psychiatrist, she said, “I want you to be aware you might relapse. It happens. It is very important you communicate with your regular psychiatrist and your parents. Your safety matters.” I didn’t think I would relapse so soon. Within a month after being an inpatient, I felt like I was once again a disturbance to the world and to my family. I wouldn’t get out of bed. I wouldn’t talk to anyone. I wouldn’t touch my phone. I wouldn’t eat. I would only sleep. I wasn’t allowed to have my medications in my room. My mom had to lock all of them up and when I needed them, she would distribute them to me. A short month later, I relapsed again. Since going to the hospital, I have relapsed many times. Each time, it’s for different reasons, but every time I am scared I might actually do something. Not only is it scary for me, but also for my family. They always have to “keep watch” and know where I am at all times for my safety. It’s always a frightening situation, but somehow, I get through it. Even when I doubt myself.

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.

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Image via Thinkstock

Originally published: February 26, 2017
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