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5 Small Things That Got Harder When I Was Diagnosed With a Mental Illness

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The onset of serious life-bothering mental illness didn’t come for me until I was 21 years old and found myself admitting myself into a psychiatric hospital. I had lived with a mild form of depression since kindergarten, but I didn’t know a different life, so the amount if affected my daily life was little. It wasn’t until the months of trying to rebuild a life for myself after being diagnosed with bipolar II that I realized the simple things were no longer so simple.

1. Breathing.

I’m constantly yawning, and have sudden deep breaths. I simply don’t get enough air. That leaves me suddenly forgetting to breathe and making a scene trying to inhale.

2. Getting scars.

Do I have those scars that come along with the stereotype of mental illness that I’m not proud of? Yup. Do I have scares from cat scratches that I often find others taking notice of because they know my illness? Also yup. 

3. Calling my mom.

Seriously I’m fine. I just wanted to call. Please stop worrying. 

4. Sugar, alcohol and caffeine.

Also known as the college student’s “diet.” For me and my bottles of daily medication, it’s a nightmare that sends my symptoms into something much worse, has me shaking, and takes away the effect of the much needed medication. 

5. Sleep.

Am I sleeping away depression or am I just a girl who had a long week and wants a nap? Every morning I sleep in or every evening I spend lounging in bed worries someone. 

I’m sure the list can go on and I’m sure readers can add their own, but at least those who can nod their head and agree with me never have to go without a dull moment. Mental illness likes to keep it fresh and interesting. I never thought such basic things like those listed above could become such of a big deal, but at this point might as well roll with it.

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Thinkstock photo via Natasha-R-Graham

Originally published: October 5, 2017
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