Did you know?

What it’s like to have a mental illness?

Mental health is a matter of everyone, not just of people who struggle with it.

From my point of view, having some mental health issues, means that you’re often treated differently than you’d otherwise be.

Your words matter less, people don’t listen to you or don’t take you as seriously. Not everybody, but especially people who lack the knowledge about the mental health in general.
It happens too often among the doctors and medical staff too. You really don’t have to be a psychiatrist, to know the basics.

Thankfully, I have some great personal experience by speaking out loud about my mental health issues too. And being accepted very well despite everything.
A part of the thanks go to you too, dear readers.

I know very well when it’s a good time to keep things for myself, yet I do like to push the boundaries a bit. Because if you want to see any change, you really need to be one sometimes. Sometimes is better to stay in the shadows though. And easier. But sometimes the shadows become a burden too.

Short, but powerful video.

We’re used to seeing sad, anxious or hysterical people when we read about mental health. But this person with mental health issues might look just like you, your friendly neighbor or anyone else who appears “normal” on the outside, when you met on the street.

I’m getting really tired of the stigma that goes with mental health.
It’s really important that we all take care of our mental health before we come to some issues, to lessen them or even avoid them. So, like I’ve already said, mental health is a matter of everyone.

What about you? Can you talk openly or do you need to hide your mental health issues in your close community?

16 Comments

  • ashleyleia

    I’ve been pretty open all along, although part of it was that there was no way to hide some things. I figured it was better for people to hear the truth from rather than untrue rumours. In order to challenge stigma, I think it’s important for people to speak out if and when it feels safe for them to do so, which obviously isn’t going to happen for everyone or in every situation.

  • Yetismith

    I have no problem talking about it but almost nobody wants to listen. They don’t know how to respond, I suppose. Where I am from, and my generation, mental illness has a stigma and I have always felt that I am not taken seriously. I am just that relative who’s a bit “odd” and probably a bit loose in the loafer.
    Can’t say I like it, but that’s the way it is.

    • Maja

      This is what I was pointing out. And it’s not ok.
      We all have some weird parts of ourselves and just because some people don’t talk about it, or hide it better, doesn’t mean that they are much different in their core.

  • AP2

    It really depends who you talk to I think. Your real friends will listen and ask questions and try to understand. Others might make jokes or offer advice like chin up demonstrating they know very little about what it’s like to live with a mental illness. While I think it’s important to be careful about who you open up to it’s essential that people do. Ultimately the more we talk about it, the more comfortable people become talking about it – the less of stigma i believe there will be. Thanks for bringing up such an important subject πŸ™

  • Emily Alice Grey

    What I hate most with regards to mental illness is the fact that still there are so many people who seem to think we can flip some kind of switch and be okay just because they do not understand and they think that is how it works and it isn’t. Also the fact that I often am very embarrassed by my severe anxiety and PTSD. And depression. We shouldn’t have to ever feel embarrassed for these things or feel the need to apologize for it.

  • Jeff Flesch

    As always, an important post, Maja. For most of my life, I hid that part of myself from other people, and also myself. Might sound funny to someone reading this, yet when we grow up in a context where mental health issues are present, yet not talked about, you become good at hiding it from everyone and everything. Not today though. πŸ™‚ Be well.

  • The Devotional Guyβ„’

    In my work as workplace chaplain ministering to people at their job place, I encounter a lot of people struggling between sadness and grief or discouragement and something deeper. Your post helps people understand the difference between those feelings we share in common and those that damage the soul and crush our spirit. Thanks for posting.

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