Mental Illness Can Suck Ass

As you can see by my title, I’m not a great lover mental illness. No-one is. Who would be? The type of illness that you cannot eradicate with simply a couple of antibiotics, but a much more devious little beastie. It may not be a pleasant topic, but it sure as hell is one that needs to be talked about.

Quite honestly, I feel sorry for those who view mental illness as something for ‘weirdos’ or ‘psychos’, because, to be quite honest, you are incredibly naive to believe that everything is so black and white. Humans don’t come with “perfect condition” or “broken/unworking” labels stuck to their foreheads and that is because, extremities are incredibly rare and probably 99.9% of the world’s population floats somewhere in-between.

This matches nicely with the terribly incorrect use of the word ‘insane’ when regarding mental illness… You see the definition of sanity given on Google is “the ability to think and behave in a normal and rational manner; sound mental health” Fair enough, if you have a mental illness, you may not have sound mental health, but it does in no way mean you should be seen as ‘insane’ in society’s eyes. The definition that we have attributed rather stupidly to ‘insane’ is “in a state of mind which prevents normal perception, behaviour, or social interaction; seriously mentally ill”. You see that? SERIOUSLY mentally ill. Insane does not simply mean ‘not sane’, it means ‘crazy’, ‘psychopath’. So next time you’re about to class someone with a mental illness as ‘insane’, think about its true meaning before you speak.

I’m not intending this post to be derogatory towards all people without mental illnesses in any way, I wouldn’t want to stereotype all of them like the few of them which stereotype us. Those few that need to be damn educated; hence this post.

Let me tell you, the one thing harder for the sufferer themselves, other than the illness itself is the reactions of a handful of people. Personally, when going through tough times with a little bugger called anxiety, I was incredibly lucky with the support I received from most individuals – even people I wasn’t particularly close with looked out for me. But for some, they aren’t as lucky as others, I’ve seen so many cases of abandonment and it infuriates me. If your friend begins to have some issues and is diagnosed with ANY mental illness, the absolute worst thing you can do is leave them. Because mental illness isn’t a thing that can be faced alone. No matter how you may find the consequences of their condition, such as not being able to go places with you, annoying, you remember that they are bloody well trying your best and they probably feel guilty enough already. However, the people supporting you should equally not shoulder the weight of your illness alone as that’s equally a recipe for disaster, keep in contact, have a network almost. 90% of my friends and family, I have to say, have been absolutely amazing at this; helping each other to help me and I know for a fact that I couldn’t have continued to fight my anxiety without them which I believe that anyone suffering should have access to exactly the same kind of support.

Onto more negative reactions, the one thing that makes me want to scream is when people laugh at individuals with a mental illness. I’m sorry but that is the most maliciously self-absorbed thing you can do. That person has enough problems already without you treating them like some kind of entertainment or joke. Mental illness is real, it’s not a joke and it’s not a form of attention-seeking. This only just seems to be coming to light, but I am determined to make this known worldwide. “Mental illness didn’t exist 50 years ago, so it’s clearly not real” exclaim some disbelievers – “The Internet didn’t exist 50 years ago” I say, “but it still exists in the present doesn’t it?”.

Finally, the thing I detest more than anything else – using pretend mental illness to gain attention. This offends genuine sufferers more than anything you could ever say, the manipulation of something so terrible to gain attention. Would you say that you had cancer to gain attention? Nope? Didn’t think so. Well doing that with mental illness is just as bad. In my opinion, I will not question the validity of anyone’s mental illness if they have been diagnosed by a doctor. Again, you wouldn’t go around telling people you had cancer if you had no hard medical proof to say that you actually did. It’s the same concept. Although, the part which disgusts me the most is the fact that someone is ‘trying to have’ a mental illness, something that should never, ever be wished for. It’s not fun, it’s not nice and it’s sure as hell not cool.

The one thing you have to remember, whether you’re suffering or supporting is that 1 in 4 people in the UK will suffer from a mental illness at one point during this year, so you’re not at all alone.From my point of view, seeking help and making people aware of how you’re feeling is one of the biggest steps you can take towards getting better. I’ll be writing soon about my own top ten tips for coping with these kinds of issues, but I want to hear your own experiences and suggestions too!  Everyone may suffer slightly differently, but you are not the ‘odd-one-out’. You are an individual facing a challenge, that is all, and as long as you face that challenge head on, you will overcome it. Instead of dwelling on how crap I’ve felt in the past, I’ve realised in the past year that my own experience has actually enabled me to sympathise with and help others so much better than previously. Also, it’s given me tougher skin; I’ll have an injection, I’ll have piercings, I’ll pick up a spider (okay, maybe I’m lying about that last part) and, for those reasons I am actually grateful for what I’ve been through and what I still have to face. No matter what, I’m up for the challenge.

If there’s anything you want to share, feel free to leave me a comment or something, I love you all.

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