As you’ll know by now, I suffer with mental illness and I feel we deserve a world where mental health is not discriminated against and so what do I do – I talk about it. There are a few common misconceptions that crop up I am going to address so here we go.
- Depression is just feeling a bit down.
No way. Depression isn’t just the feeling of sadness, its much more than that. It can be totally debilitating and both Anxiety and Depression can cause physical symptoms including
- Change in appetite
- Change in sleeping pattern
- Inability to sit still
It can also affect concentration, confidence and social skills.
2. Its obvious when somebody is depressed
Nope. Each person has a different coping style and the idea that those with Mental Illness sit clutching their heads and sobbing in the corner is actually quite damaging. There is such a thing as ‘high functioning anxiety’ and ‘high functioning depression’ which I wont go into but I will say that just because somebody is seemingly happy and healthy it isnt always the case. Be kind
3. Mental illness is a sign of weakness.
WOAH. no no no. This is hugely damaging to mental health sufferers as it couldn’t be further from the truth and is a huge cause of stigma. EVERY single person on this planet has a mental health and so how can it be hard to believe that mental illness can affect anybody. You wouldn’t call somebody with a longstanding physical illness weak. Oh god imagine, that just cruel – so why is mental illness any different? This attitude may stop somebody from seeking help so for anybody that believes mental illness is weakness I hope after reading this you may reconsider.
4.Its attention seeking.
This one baffles me. If I was really desperate for attention I could think of better ways to get it. I could run around naked with an air horn, or I could become a super talented comedian. I could tell everyone I married Robbie Williams (TRUE) or I could even rap my best rendition of Eminem. What I wouldnt do however, is pretend to have an illness, an illness that kills, ruins lives and is an everyday battle. Who would do that?
For me depression and anxiety actually make attention unbearable hence why my coping mechanism is to just pretend I’m okay. Just think would I tell a loved one that was seriously physically ill they were attention seeking? Probably not, be kind.
Monday 10th October is WORLD MENTAL HEALTH DAY below are some links to great sites that may help. Its okay to talk.