So what are 10 things I personally hate about mental illness? Here we go.
1. The Lies: Depression is a lying liar that lies. The negative self talk that tells you you’re not good enough; that you’re not strong; that you’re not successful; that you’re a bad mom (or dad); that others don’t want to be around you; that no one else undertands. A brain with mental illness lies a lot, and its easy to listen when you’re in a bad place.
2. Pills & Side Effects: Having to remember to take meds every day (sometimes multiple times per day) sucks. Its hard to remember. And honestly not knowing how these things are affecting my body for the long term is pretty scary. Yeah, there are studies, but you just don’t know. And the worst part of all are the side effects: weight gain, loss of sex drive, acne, intestinal issues…the list goes on and on, doesn’t it? What kind of side effects do you suffer?
3. Lack of Energy: My natural physical and mental instinct is to sleep, or lay on the couch, or do nothing, even when its bright and sunny and school’s out like right now. I often feel intense guilt over not having the instinct or drive to go out and play with the kids. And even when we are out “having fun” I’m not always having fun in my head. Its just hurts some days to feel this way.
4. Intrusive Thoughts: These come and go. They’re not constant by any means but when they do hit, can be downright terrifying. Do you not know what intrusive thoughts are? Count yourself lucky. Intrusive thoughts are those bad thoughts that force themselves into the brain seemingly out of nowhere and with no warning…like thoughts of suicide or hurting oneself.
5. Easy Triggers: When you have mental illness, things in life can be triggering. Watching a TV show with an intense theme. Reading a blog about someone’s struggles. Watching a news report about a violent crime. Often its the specific details about an incident that hit home and bring out the depression or anxiety or mania. This happens to me quite often actually and its hard to live with, particularly when I’m passionate about such topics and mental illness and suicide prevention.
6. Sadness or Anxiety: Being intensely sad or anxious for no reason at all and having no control to stop it. These things just hit, and they can hit hard.
7. Insomnia: This can be due to symptoms of the illness (like mania or anxiety) or due to the side effects of meds (see above.) And Bad sleep is the absolute worst for several reasons. Of course its uncomfortable in the moment. You want and need to sleep but spend the whole night stressing over the fact that you can’t. Followed by a day or two or three of feeling exhausted, which then spins you into a darker hole. A person with mental illness desperately needs good sleep but its not always easy to get.
8. Stigma: The way many people feel about those with mental illness is frustrating and sad. There’s an ignorance that exists. How many times have you seen negative comments on a blog post or YouTube video. Or overheard someone talking about a “crazy” person. Ore even encountered a doctor who doesn’t believe you. People just don’t get it and its hard to live in a world where others don’t understand, and treat you that way.
9. Burn Out: I’m reminded of this after last week’s walk. We all have our passions and drive to succeed, but there are times when I easily burn out by doing too much. I’d love to to be able to drive full speed ahead and not need to turn off the engine after a few short miles.
10. Doctors Appointments: Like I really want to spend my limited free time going to the doctor. I have just a few hours a week without the kids and I just don’t want to spend that “me” time dealing with my health issues.
What about you? What do you hate about mental illness?