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7 Reasons People With Mental Illnesses Are Strong AF

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If you struggle with mental illness, you may have heard the following comment before. People will tell you that your mental illness is a choice. You are choosing to feel sad. You need to just relax and lighten up. Fighting a mental illness is hard work, and it takes strength. Here are just some of the reasons why we are certified badasses:

1. We adapt.

This is a major strength in fighting these types of illnesses. Your illness may make you question everything at times. You may not want to get out of bed, but we fight our brains every day.

2. We struggle.

Struggling with your own negative thoughts is hard work. We must build strength and move forward. It can often feel like your own mind turns against you.

3. We fight.

We fight negative thoughts. We fight stereotypes. We fight to stay true to ourselves. We face judgment and ignorance.

4. We face stigma.

Even in 2017, people are ignorant about the reality of mental illness. They think it’s a choice or it’s something we can turn on and off. Some people feel scared when they hear the dreaded word, “schizo.” They say people with depression are just lazy or not trying hard enough. Insurance companies treat it differently, even though it is an important part of your overall health.

5. We keep showing up for treatment.

Psychiatrists, therapists, specialists, oh my! It may take multiple mental health professionals to help with treatment, but we have to show up. We go to every doctor appointment and therapy session. Keeping up with medicine is also important, and we manage it carefully if we are able to. Some people have to have someone manage it for them. Either way, we are strong for going. It is hard to admit that you need help.

6. We deal with medicine and side effects.

Those of us who choose to use medicine face all kinds of side effects and have to deal with adjustment periods. We deal with it to stay stable. There can be little, temporary side effects like nausea or headaches. Some people have to deal with movement issues from antipsychotics. Antidepressants can have all kinds of unwanted side effects such as weight gain or loss of libido — it’s not fun. You can often feel like a lab rat. It can take a frustratingly long amount of time to find a mixture that works.

7. We show emotions.

In many cases, we cry or yell or show other emotions when symptomatic. Big displays of emotion such as crying spells can be seen as weakness. It takes a brave person to be unafraid of their emotions.

Stay strong, my people!

Editor’s note: Please see a doctor before starting or stopping a medication.

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Thinkstock via anyaberkut

Originally published: March 9, 2017
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