Sunday, September 24

Living Without A Mental Illness

“Mental Illness” is a term I hear almost every day. Whether it be on twitter, a blog post or even coming up in conversation with my friends. I straight a way think of depression and anxiety but of course this umbrella term covers a whole range of things that plague the world. It is everywhere. And it has always been everywhere but only with recent years has it developed into such a topical discussion. And I mean thank God! Living with a mental Illness is not something to be embarrassed about and because it is so openly discussed hopefully people suffering from it don’t feel as pressured to hide it.

I don’t believe I suffer from a mental illness ( even though some people claim that everyone is affected by a mental illness to a certain degree ). I guess I consider myself lucky because I have seen depression cripple people close to me. I’ve seen them get so low that getting out of bed becomes impossible. The easiest of tasks are now Mount Everest. It is not something I’d wish upon my worst enemy. But even though I am not “depressed”, I too have felt like the world is on my shoulders and the sky is crashing down around me. I have felt so low and sad that I thought I’d never make it to the next day. I’ve wondered how my body has not crinkled up with water loss because surely I just cried out the pacific ocean. But these are just emotions, mood and stress that bring the ups and downs. Because everyone, depressed or not, will have their good days and bad. And whether you have a doctor’s note does not determine how important your emotions are. Or the strength of your pills will not make my feelings any less significant. In the past I have felt guilty about feeling bad when I have it so much better than others I know. Over time I have realised that we are all living different lives and our glasses of water don’t all contain the same amount. Some of us might have buckets or jugs instead of shot glasses and we’ll all overflow at different times. It is important to remember that it’s okay not to be okay.


It appears that mental illness has become trendy, and in particular anxiety and depression. This used to irritate me because I felt that perfectly healthy people were being dramatic about their depression and that it was diminishing the true struggle of living with a mental illness. It became cool to have anxiety. And you didn’t fit in if you didn’t have depression. I have been excluded and made felt different because I didn’t take depression medication and was told that I don’t understand it. Some of my own friends made me feel beneath them because I didn’t have a mental illness. But as more and more people open up about their own stories, mental illness has become very popular. And this trend isn’t actually a bad thing! It is important to know that people aren’t alone out there. That we can all tackle this together. As Scarlett Curtis says “I want it to become so trendy that it gets it’s own clothing line and homeware range”.


I am not trying to belittle or downgrade mental health. I have been affected by it my whole life. I know how destroying it can be.  From my first Christmas as a baby spent with one parent because depression had put my other parent in hospital to my best friends suffering from anxiety and/or depression everyday and even the death of someone very close to me because of mental health. Sometimes I think maybe that I have depression. That maybe it’s actually contagious and I have caught it like the common cold. But then that’s me being melodramatic and reality brings me back to earth. Everyone has their ups and down. And regardless of a label,  how we feel is not something to be overlooked.

8 comments:

  1. Firstly, welcome back M! It was so lovely to see your name pop up. Secondly, what an incredibly important post to come back with!
    Mental illness is a topic being more openly discussed which is incredible. I think we all know people around us who have suffered due to some form of mental illness- some more seriously than others.

    Sometimes I think I could have minor anxiety- self diagnosed- I never get to the stage of crying or hyperventilating but as you said, there are different degrees to everything.

    Great post and welcome back!

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    1. Thank you Steph! I am very very late replying but your comment means so much to me <3
      Everyone needs to care for their mental health, it is hugely important. Often a talk with a friend is a great help, and my door(or phone, blog, whatever) is always open! ^_^ x

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  2. Hi!
    I think what you say is important, because mental illness are something serious and not an illness that you can get cured in a few days or something you can choose (I hate when I hear someone saying "oooh, I have a lot of exams next week, I will get depressed") but is nice to let people what consists that illness is and very important, how help people who is suffering from it.
    Personally, even I attended to the psychiatrist, they only had diagnosed me that I suffer anxiety attacks (and they gave me some tips to prevent it and deal when it happens), something that is nothing compared to suffer every day! I know some people who have mentall illness and I know that is not very easy...

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    1. Thanks Cilia! Mental health is so important and everyone should take care and look after themselves. I think the exact same, it can almost be like the boy who cried wolf unfortunately.
      Hope you are keeping well Cilia!

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  3. Oh Marian! I hope you feel better.

    It's sad that people make mental illness seem like something that everyone should have or that you shouldn't do anything about your mental illness.

    Unfortunately, there's barely enough balance :(

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    1. Thanks Grace! I feel absolutely fantastic!
      It's hard to find the balance when everyone has quite different opinions :/

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  4. This was such a good post. I think it's so important that people understand that it's okay not to have a mental illness and that you don't have to be ashamed of it or pretend that you do have one to fit in. I think it's sad that people do that because it makes it harder to notice the people who really do need help.

    Anyway as I have already said, this was such a great post and really got me thinking.

    - Lula
    - http://www.lulamercer.com

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    1. Thank you Lula! Exactly, mental health is so important and needs to be taken seriously and not some sort of "trend" to fit in but one that is learned and understood so that we can all get through together. ^_^

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I solemnly swear to reply every time ^_^