Just get over it. You aren’t trying hard enough. Stop being dramatic. This isn’t a real thing. Anyone who suffers from a mental health disorder has heard all of this before. Probably one too many times. I’ve heard this from people before I could even understand what I was going through, before I learned it was depression or anxiety. To say it annoys me would be an understatement. Let me tell you why shouldn’t ever say anything like this to anyone who is suffering from mental health.
When I first started feeling depressed and anxious, I had a lot of trouble identifying why. I didn’t understand what was going on so it made it even harder for people to understand it. People would constantly tell me I was being dramatic and doing it for attention. People told me I just needed to get over it. In all honesty, it made everything worse. To me, those words make me feel as if what I am going through is not real. The stigma of mental health not being real is why no one talks about it. I felt so ashamed that I felt like this when I lived a really good life. I still feel so ashamed sometimes because I can’t tell you why I feel like this. I can’t tell you why I have panic attacks over things that are not that big of a deal. I can’t tell you why I can have surges of rage when someone picks on me or embarrasses me. I don’t think I will ever be able to tell you other than my mind works differently than someone who doesn’t suffer from severe depression and anxiety. Just because you can’t always see it doesn’t mean that it is not very real for me.
When I’m having severe episodes of depression, I hear that I’m not trying hard enough. I’m not trying to be positive and look for the brightness that can be in my life. Here’s the thing. I have been living with this for almost 10 years now. I’ve come a long way from where I used to be. Every single ounce of strength in me goes towards working on my mental health. Everything. I have been to therapists, psychiatrists, and taken so many different medications in order to function on a daily basis. I have been trying for the past 4 years to better myself so I can live a better life. It is exhausting. It takes everything out of me. Some days are better than other when life just seems to take a break on me. Some days are really bad. Sometimes I am mentally exhausted and I just can’t fight anymore. On those days, yeah maybe I’m not trying hard. I slip up. I have been fighting for so long that sometimes I’m just too tired. I hate when those days come just as much as everyone around me. I know that it’s awful to be around and I hate myself too. I’m ashamed when I have an episode of depression or severe anxiety.
There are so many times where I feel ashamed because of what people have said to me. I lived with this shame for so long, being embarrassed knowing that people out there are living in way worse conditions than myself. However, that doesn’t make my pain and suffering not real. I can’t just get over it as if I stubbed my toe on the table. Don’t ever tell me I’m not trying hard enough because I’ve given my entire life in working on my mental health. I’m not being dramatic or trying to get attention. I share my story and struggles because I know someone out there may be suffering in silence. If they know that they are not alone and someone would believe them, maybe they will begin their journey to heal their mind. I don’t believe that I can ever be cured completely from my depression or anxiety so I don’t deserve to carry this shame around it. My life is my life and my mind is my mind. The only way we can end the stigma is to believe those who say something. If you think you have a mental health problem, I believe you. This is real and you deserve to be happy. You can reach out for help knowing that no one will judge you or shame you for it. We will combat this together.