Hi guys! its been a while, i know. life gets in the way as we all know it. today i’m going to talk about something very dear and close to my heart, and the fact that no one ever talks about it is always something that has concerned me.
it’s mental health. even the phrase itself is surrounded by some sort of stigma. and it sucks, to be put frankly. some of the closest people to me, including myself, might i add- go through a tremendous amount of stress because of our own minds. and disclaimer- this is in no way directed to make anyone feel bad for people like me, or like many others- it is simply a means to cause attention and understanding for something that is still so taboo even to this day.
if you aren’t familiar with any of these conditions, let me explain the most common ones:
Depression: a common and serious medical illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you think and how you act. it causes feelings of sadness and a loss of interest in activities the person used to enjoy. It also decreases a person’s ability to function in everyday situations simply because they cannot get themselves too. something called depersonalization also tends to interlace itself with depression- it is marked by periods of feeling disconnected or detached from one’s body and thoughts. it often feels like you are observing yourself from outside of your body or like being in a dream.
Anxiety Disorders: anxiety disorders are more widespread -there’s a few of them.
- Panic Disorder- you feel terror at random times, not specifically caused by anything. During panic attacks people may feel any of the next symptoms- unusually strong or irregular palpitations, sweating, chest pain, and you may feel like you’re choking or having a heart attack, and get this- even if you’re actually not or extremely healthy. that’s just the way you feel.
- Social Anxiety Disorder- feeling an overwhelming and excessive worry about everyday social situations. people with this disorder always have a fear that everyone around them is judging and/or talking about them. hence, they usually avoid social situations as much as possible.
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder- excessive, exaggerated anxiety and worry about everyday life events with no evident reason to actually be worrying. they tend to always expect disaster and can’t stop worrying about health, money, family, work, or school, and eventually, this becomes so consuming that it interferes with daily functioning.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD): features a pattern of unreasonable thoughts and fears (obsessions) that lead you to do repetitive behaviors (compulsions). these obsessions and compulsions interfere with daily activities and cause significant distress. and that’s not even the worst part- if you try to ignore or stop these obsessions, they only get worse and increase your anxiety even more. many people can go their whole lives undiagnosed because they’re embarrassed about even talking about their obsessions or compulsions.
Pure Obsessional OCD (Pure-O): a form of OCD in which there are no outward compulsive manifestations, instead, the anxiety-inducing obsessions take place only in the mind. the compulsions they will have usually go on in their minds, unseen by others. they also seek reassurance in loved ones and may avoid specific objects places or people because of their mental obsessions.
Bipolar Disorder: also known as manic depression. its usually characterized by severe high and low moods and changes in sleep, energy, thinking, and behavior. they have periods in which they feel overly happy and energized and other periods of feeling very sad, hopeless, and depressed.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: a serious condition that can develop after one has experienced or witnessed a traumatic event in which serious physical harm occurred or was threatened. it can cause intense fear, helplessness, or horror. here are few situations that can bring this disorder on- sexual or physical assault, the unexpected death of a loved one, an accident, war, or natural disaster.these people will typically have reactions that may include shock, anger, nervousness, fear, and even guilt.
Eating Disorder: an illness that leads people to overeat, starve themselves, or adopt other unhealthy behaviors surrounding food and body weight. they can happen at any time in someone’s life, but they are usually more common through teenage years.
- Binge Eating Disorder- characterized by episodes of extreme overeating. people may feel out of control when they overeat, eat more quickly than usual, eat until they are painfully full, or binge when they aren’t hungry. bingeing can lead to type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease if not taken care of.
- Anorexia Nervosa- people develop an irrational fear of gaining weight, which can drive them to become dangerously thin. they may go to great lengths to lose weight by eating too little food, compulsively exercising, or taking diet pills. food becomes an obsession to them, which leads to excessive calorie counting, weighing their food, and eating very small amounts of restrictive food.
- Bulimia: characterized by eating large amounts of food very quickly and then throwing up, taking pills to have a bowel movement (laxatives), or exercising excessively. bingeing and purging can happen a few times a week or many times in one day. these people may be extremely afraid to gain weight and also struggle with other self-esteem problems.
these are the most common types of mental illnesses. and they all suck very very much. i don’t think i can say that enough. i’m tired of people throwing these phrases around not knowing so many people are suffering in silence. so the next time you think that “you’re so ocd” or you’re “having a panic attack” when you’re a bit stressed- stop for a moment and think about what you’re saying. think about how you would feel if someone was deliberately making fun of an illness you can’t control, something you have to live with every day of your life. so please, stop throwing these phrases around, stop stigmatizing something that you don’t have to live with. because let me tell you something- i would rather have a physical illness, than this.
i recently became friends with someone who is absolutely amazing. i love this girl a ton, im sure you’ll know who you are when you read this. but she recently told me something that has stayed with me and i have to share it. she said that instead of criticizing someone for being shy, for being reserved, or being extremely loud, for being very quiet, for not talking too much, for having mood swings- just talk to this person, help this person. what if instead of being what you might think is rude and quiet, they are going through a lot of anxiety, or they are extremely depressed? you don’t know that. and this is how it is for a lot of people. i can say i’ve gone and still go through this- the judging, the thinking i’m rude….but if only you knew that i’m fighting a whole other world inside my head.
its not easy- it is never easy. and having to accept that you have to live with this for the rest of your life- at least in this system of things is many times so so debilitating. because it interferes with everything, things you could do before, things you had planned to do and now, you can’t. some days you feel like you’re healing, and some days you feel like you’re drowning. and the fact that sometimes people are not understanding at all sinks you a little bit more.
so if you know someone who is going through anything- reach out to them. research their condition, listen to them. sometimes all they need is to have someone there and to not feel so alone. don’t suggest that they need to exercise more, eat healthier, take this natural pill, drink this herbal tea. we’ve heard it all. and although these things may improve our quality of life- they do not solve the illness itself. they do not solve anything. so instead just be there, just listen. don’t abandon your friends because you think they need to cheer up or they are some kind of negative impact on your life…if you are friends with someone you are friends with them through any and everything. so be there.
and if you are going through this yourself- and don’t know what to do, as hard as it is please look for help. even if you take small steps towards it. talk to someone who you know will not judge you and will try to understand, and if you can’t find someone, talk to me. but you have to comprehend that you need help- just like any other illness, you need help. i can’t tell you what to do exactly, i am not a doctor nor do i know what to do with myself sometimes either. just know that you are not alone- no matter what, someone else feels what you do, i promise. don’t be embarrassed. those who truly love you will never make you feel that way. and also recognize that healing does not come at once, it comes in waves. but one day you will be okay, this will all be a thing of the past.
stop stigmatizing mental illnesses. shower everyone with love. shower yourself with love and take care of yourself.
as always, thank you for reading. this is majorly dedicated to the people in my life who go through this every single day- stay strong and i love you guys.