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To the People Who Don't Understand Why Mental Illness Makes Me So Tired

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“Hey, are you OK?”

“Yeah. I’m just tired…”

What am I tired of exactly, you ask?

I’m tired of: being anxious, feeling worthless, being depressed, feeling too much emotion, not feeling enough emotion, wanting to stay in bed, not being able to sleep, feeling alone, panic attacks, crying, hurting, shaking, being paranoid, worrying, being stressed, being called “crazy,” not being able to focus, suffering, being torn down and struggling to make it through each day.

I’m tired of medication, therapy and fighting. I’m tired of being tired. I’m tired of having a mental illness. I’m tired of everything.

So, yes, I am “just tired.”

Saying “I’m tired” is not an excuse, it is reality. I do not owe anyone an explanation for how I am feeling when “tired” sums it all up in one word. I am allowed to be tired because of what I face every day. I fight and battle with the world, and myself, every day, so of course I am tired.

Being asked why I’m so tired is like coming off a battlefield and having someone ask, “Wow, what’s wrong? Tired? How can you be tired, you didn’t even do anything to be tired?” The only the person who experiences the war is the one with the mental illness. Others may see the peril the person goes through, but they cannot truly see what is causing it, and sometimes in their minds, that means it is not “real.” Because it can’t be real, right? How can something we can’t see be real?

Well folks, sorry to tell you but mental illnesses are real. And mental illnesses make you tired. You may not understand it, and that’s OK, but believe us when we tell you that’s what we are going through because it is real.

Unsplash photo via Vladislav Muslakov

Originally published: February 26, 2018
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