I didn’t expect this to be so dang complicated. But, I am going to do my best to be as raw and honest as I can. Let’s talk about mental health.
October 10 is World Mental Health Day. It has been observed since 1992 and actually has a great history with various themes each year. As you scroll through your social media feeds, I hope you do find others sharing their thoughts on this and take the time to listen and observe their stories.
What I am not going to do is tell my emotional story here. A lot of it is private and in an odd way, special to me. Plus, we simply DO NOT have the space here.
I currently find myself in a mentally healthy place. I see a therapist and have open dialog with friends, family, and my husband about anything and everything mental health related. I asked my husband what he wishes he would have known about mental health, and the following is for both those that love someone who has a mental disorder and those that live with a mental disorder.
For reference, my personal experience in mental health has been centered around anxiety and depression. My journey and experiences do not speak to everyone. Please keep in mind that we are all different in our struggles.
The most significant thing that I have learned is that the growth through all of my mental health isn’t a constant upward trend. For those that need to hear it today, here is what I want you to know. It’s going to be OK. You will have good days and bad days. You are enough, and you are not alone.
While there are various symptoms that identify and distinguish one disorder from another, each is going to look a bit different from person to person. Just as you and I look different, each individual who has struggled with mental health has a different story.
There is no way that someone who is consistently mentally healthy will truly know what is going on in the head space of someone with a mental disorder. It is difficult for individuals who support their loved ones to know what they are experiencing and in turn, difficult to know how to help. The crazy thing is that it can be difficult to know how to ask for help when you are struggling with a mental illness.
Suffering from a mental health disorder can be consuming
It can be a daily fight that they don’t want to show up for. They can’t just stop. It doesn’t just turn off. They can’t just be happy because they have the perfect life. That person wants to be happy, they just don’t know how to get there. Please, be patient.
Those with mental health disorders process things differently.
Because of this, what works in regards to treatment will be different. One medication doesn’t work for all people. Sometimes the answer isn’t medication. Sometimes the current therapist isn’t the right fit. Sometimes there is something else going on in the body that also needs to be addressed. Science is changing, and we learn more and more about the brain every day. Don’t give up.
The disorder wasn’t chosen.
They didn’t want it and when someone who struggles with a mental disorder says they are working on it, I promise you, they are doing their absolute best. They want and need your love. They know it is difficult to understand. Chances are, those that are living with a mental disorder will have it for most of their life even in recovery, so please be kind when things fall short.
Take the time to talk, please.
Take time for some personal space, too. Those that struggle with mental health and those that are part of the support system need to process things. Seek out professional help when necessary and know that you are not alone.
If you are worried about yourself or someone you love, there are crisis and prevention resources available. Please seek help. The Suicide Prevention Lifeline is confidential and available 24/7. Call 1-800-273-8255.