As many of you probably know, this month is Mental Health Awareness Month. I honestly wouldn’t have known this except for the fact that many of you have written posts, created tags, and started projects that center around this fact. Before I continue, I would like to thank all of you who have mentioned that May is Mental Health Awareness Month, along with all of you who dedicate your life to talking/raising awareness about mental health issues! Thank you!
I was thinking of creating my own tag for this month, but then I decided that I didn’t want to step on the toes of others who have already done a great job of this. Instead I thought I would write a little about what I think most of us who struggle with mental health issues would like the rest of the world to know! If you would like to add anything to this post, please feel free to add your comments in the comment section! Thanks!
MISCONCEPTION: Those of us who struggle with mental health issues are just acting a certain way for attention.
TRUTH: Most of us actually don’t like getting the negative attention that comes from struggling. We don’t “put on a show” for attention. We genuinely struggle with mental health issues.
MISCONCEPTION: We want to struggle.
TRUTH: We hate struggling! Struggling with a mental health issue usually means sacrificing much of what we want.
MISCONCEPTION: We can just “snap out of it”
TRUTH: While it may be hard to understand, sometimes it’s easier to begin to feel anxious etc. than to stop feeling that way. Our mental health issues cannot just be turned off whenever we wish. If it were that simple, we would have done it already.
MISCONCEPTION: We are not trying to get better.
TRUTH: While it may not seem like it, many of us are trying on a daily basis to get through our mental health issues. It can just be really difficult to do.
MISCONCEPTION: Everyone who has mental health issues are unable to think properly, etc.
TRUTH: We are just as intelligent and capable of thinking as the next person. Sometimes our anxiety and other issues just makes things harder for us.
MISCONCEPTION: Struggling with anxiety or another mental health issue is a sign of weakness and/or immaturity.
TRUTH: Struggling with a mental health issue usually has nothing to do with immaturity. Even the most immature of individuals can struggle. It does not mean we don’t want to grow up. In fact, many of us want to be able to be more independent and successful. Many of us already are.
As you can see, there are many misconceptions about mental health issues and those who struggle with them. While not everyone is going to understand people struggle with anxiety, depression, etc. , kindness should always be offered. However, if it’s not, please understand that just because someone doesn’t know how to deal with something or help, it doesn’t mean they don’t love you!
What We Want:
Those of us who struggle with mental health issues want to be understood. However, many of us know that some individuals simply don’t. We want the ones we love to care for us and support us. Additionally, those of us who struggle with mental health issues want to get better, want to be able to manage them more effectively. For some of us, doing simple things can seem difficult because our anxiety and other issues get in the way. We want to be able to push through our obstacles and get things done.
What You Can Do For Those Who Struggle:
If you know someone who struggles with a mental health issue, you should treat them like you would anyone else that you care for. Remember that we are intelligent individuals who can think just as well as the rest of the world. If we are struggling, the best thing to do is remind us that you are here for us and that you care. If you want to know specific ways that you can help, ask. What we want most of all is kindness and effort in terms of trying your best to be here for us.
For All Of You Who Struggle With Mental Health Issues:
You are not alone. Seriously! I know that you might think that it’s just something everyone says, but it’s true. Chances are that at least one (and more than likely, more than one) person understands what you’re going through. They might not deal with the exact same issue as you do, but they probably deal with something very close. Don’t be afraid to talk to the people who you trust. Don’t be afraid to share your story with others (in a safe way, of course). Chances are that someone will understand and listen, someone will care!
Just A Few Great Reads, Projects, and Tags! :
Mindfulness and Me – Matt asks great questions to help others to talk about mental health issues and life in general.
Mental Illness Tag – Becca created this awesome tag to help people speak about their mental health issues!
Slippery When Wet – Carla wrote this amazing post on the truth about mental health issues!
I highly recommend that you check out these awesome posts, projects, and tags!
*Image found on Google Images