Mental illness is exhausting. Things that most people give hardly any thought to doing are terrifying, confusing and overwhelming. And then, on top of that huge weight of emotion, you have to try to pretend that you’re ok so that you can get on with paying the rent and eating and bathing and all the other little necessities of life. The guilt about letting everyday activities slip is another burden on a heavy mind and can be the last straw before a complete meltdown.
When I recognize that I’m succumbing to this, I try to take a little time off to just be crazy in. It’s hard to fight against that irrational inner voice until I can articulate what it’s trying to tell me and I often need quite a bit of time to work through the emotions enough to put words around them.
Once I put it its argument into words, I can fight back.
When I was first diagnosed, the shame of it was almost as overwhelming as the disease itself. I simply could not let go enough to sit with and figure out my thoughts and I was worse off for it.
The fight against the stigma of mental illness is one of the most important ones out there. Between 1/5 and 1/4 of people will have some sort of mental trouble in their lives and so it will affect most people personally at one point or another. If someone doesn’t get sick themselves, then a friend or loved one probably will. There’s no need to add any extra burden to minds of ill people.
It is an illness and not a weakness.
There are treatments that can make life better.
JT says it better than I can.