Let's Talk About Anxiety and Depression and Why It's Not Okay to Just Let It Go
"You're just over-reacting!"
"Mental illness is not real."
Are you tired of hearing these things?
We've all experienced having a bad day (or two, or thirty), and it's easy to dismiss it as just that: a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day, just like the movie title. But for others, it's more than just a day gone wrong and it's called having mental health issues. Whether it's having anxiety, depression, OCD, or any other mental health illness, one thing's for sure: it's not easy having it and it's definitely not something to be made fun of.
Talking about mental illness is hard especially when it comes to your family. Some don't take it seriously, while others think it's just plain exaggeration. Some even just shrug it off and say it's not real.
People suffering from it are scared to speak up because they're afraid to get laughed at and get criticized because they have it. They are worried that nobody would listen to them, that nobody would understand what they are going through. They think that it's better to struggle in silence.
If you have a friend who wants to talk to you, give them the time. Listen to them and comfort them because they need you. Don't be a stranger to them. Your words can be an instrument for them to get through this.
Here are true stories from people who have experienced dealing with it.
"With no one else to turn to, I watched myself struggle as fear and sadness enveloped me. I was, undoubtedly, at my lowest point. If I'm being completely honest, I was even looking forward to the idea of shutting everything and everyone out, so that all the pain would just go away. I guess what I'm trying to say is that in order to battle depression, we have to literally be strong. I know it's a fairly generic advice, but it's basically all a person has to do to avoid being swallowed by their own personal void. Should you ever feel lonely, look for other outlets where you can invest your time in, like I poured my heart out in books. Reach out to friends and family, should they be available to you. Lastly, be kind. You never know what problems other people are going through and what evils they might be battling. The least you can do is give them a smile, and let them know that everything will come to pass.
It might be raining hard today, but it most certainly can't rain forever." —JM Cabral
"I was extremely thirsty to get help. I was fine with going on meds and going to get clinically diagnosed by a doctor and going to therapy. But the doors to those opportunities were continuously getting slammed into my face. My parents refused to drive me there, refused to let me get the help that I desperately needed.
No adult in my life took me seriously, and people online doubted me since it was self-diagnosed and not clinically diagnosed. I was this lil' thirteen year old lost in my own tears and completely messed up, not knowing what to do or where to go.
In the end what got me better was just me. That's why I call myself a depression warrior. I owned my depression and I've learned to be vocal about my experiences. Because in my specific situation, no one learned how to cope with my MI except me. No one helped me learn my triggers except me. This, however, doesn't work for everyone. This is just one story—my beautiful story." —Mars
We cannot take things for granted. We should be aware that someone out there is having a hard time going through life. Indeed, every one of us is fighting our own battles but someone out there is willing to lose it without giving a fight. It's like giving up because you know you can't do anything about it, but you can! Let's all be careful with the words we speak, let's not be oblivious with our action. Instead, let's make everyone feel that they have someone to hold on to.
Please don't close your eyes to the people who might need you right this very moment, please don't cover your ears to the people want you to listen to them, and please don't close your hearts to everyone who needs your help.
Want to share your story about dealing with anxiety, depression, or other mental health issues? Let us know in the comments below.