Before i came to terms with my own mental illness, i believed i knew a lot about it. I would judge by stereotypes, i would question how people who suffered mental illness could be so selfish; i would even say ‘why not just think positive?’ ‘just keep yourself busy, how hard can it be?’ I was once clueless two – i think that’s why i try so hard to educate now.
I thought i was understanding and kind but in truth i was not. I couldn’t understand how someone could just be so unhappy. I had a previous relationship where the person was severely depressed and thought i was helping but i actually think i made it worse on some days, on reflection. Mental illness is so hard to deal with, even when you’re not personally experiencing it. They can neglect your needs and expect so much of you and you think to yourself, “why should i?”
It’s easy to pass judgement if you don’t experience mental illness yourself; it’s easy to become annoyed with a loved one who can’t seem to get over their mental illness. I’ve been there. Experiencing mental illness from both sides can be a real big eye opener.
The truth is; there is nothing you can do, as an individual, to cure a person with mental illness. Yes, you can comfort; listen; and be supportive but you won’t be able to fix them. So those stupid questions i always talk about like, “why don’t you just think positive?” “have you tried not thinking about it?” “Just get over it, things will get better.”, should all be thrown in the bin, where they belong.
Society should enable us to talk freely about how we feel, both men and women. Society should educate us properly on how to support someone with mental illness and encourage everyone to take it seriously. The brain runs you and your body, how are we not taking its illnesses seriously? There is in no way near enough medical support for those who suffer; i myself had to wait 3 long months before i was given the counselling i needed. What if i couldn’t take the thoughts for that long? What if it all got too much? I would’ve just been another sadly lost and unstable person. Luckily i have people to support me, many don’t.
I’ve written this post because i talk a lot about experiencing mental illness but we also need to talk about those close to us who experience it second hand and the consequences. It can be easy to make that judgement but if we correctly educate in depth and in detail then we will be able to take that step forward in the hope of a more understanding world.
More needs to be done with regards to educating and fixing peoples lives, the more of us who stand together the more people will listen.