To say that I hate living with a mental illness is an understatement. It’s absolutely brutal and devastating at times. It has caused much turmoil, grief, and a plethora of unpleasant symptoms and memories. The list of what I hate about living with a mental illness could possibly be endless, but here are the top five:
1. The Stigma
The stigma that comes with mental illness is one of the most difficult aspects of living with a mental disease. It creates further isolation and loneliness for those who suffer because many don’t understand, won’t acknowledge, and aren’t educated on the topic. Many people end up judging the mentally ill instead because they are misinformed and simply don’t understand it. This lack of education and awareness also leads to damaging misconceptions and stereotypes that can create unnecessary fear and unfair expectations of the mentally ill. Lastly, one of the biggest issues stigma creates is that many won’t seek help when they truly need it because they fear judgment, shame, and ridicule. People are more likely to suffer in silence and this is where many problems and fatalities can occur.
2. Missed Opportunities and Set Backs
This is another difficult aspect and something I personally hate most about living with a mental illness. Throughout the course of my life, I have missed many opportunities due to how poor my mental health was. It was always so hard watching many of my family and friends succeed when I could barely get out of bed most days and complete the most simplest of tasks. I often had trouble going to school, completing assignments, and even holding a job. My grades, relationships, and work ethic have all been greatly affected by my mental illness. Nothing I set out to do seemed to last very long and I would quickly become overwhelmed, fall apart, and quit. When friends or family invite me out, I have declined or cancelled more times than I can count because of my depression or anxiety. I often found myself later regretting not going once I felt better and I would grieve the missed event or opportunity. The same has even been true for a promising job interview where I ended up not going or cancelling. It’s just so devastating.
3. Severe Symptoms
Each mental illness is different and even the same condition doesn’t present itself the same way in each individual with that disorder. With that said, every person with a mental health condition will experience unpleasant symptoms. To name a few, mental illness can cause crippling self doubt, depression, anxiety, and even some physical symptoms as well. Many have heard of depression and anxiety, but only those who have experienced it in its severe forms will be able to tell you that it is absolutely debilitating and terrifying. Some of these severe symptoms include:
- Struggling with anxiety so badly that you can’t leave your bed or house
- Being terrified of your own mind and thoughts
- Feeling as if you’re going crazy or are losing complete control
- Depression so severe that you wish you weren’t around anymore. You can hardly move or function, eat, shower, or do much of anything at all.
4. It’s an Unpredictable, Lifelong Challenge
Due to the fact that mental illness is a chronic condition, this also means that people will have to live with these conditions for their entire lives. This doesn’t necessarily mean that those who live with a mental illness will always be unhappy or miserable, but it does add some extra challenges. Life with a mental disorder can be unpredictable and there is constant maintenance and monitoring involved, all of which can become quite tiring and inconvenient. Most have to keep regular doctor appointments, take daily medications, and will have to anticipate and cope with some relapses every now and then. Many times I won’t know when my depression will choose to rear its ugly head or what the next day will even bring.
5. Unpleasant Medication Side Effects
It’s extremely common for those with a mental illness to take medications to help treat their conditions, but it comes with a price (literally). Many of the medications I have been on have caused a number of unpleasant side effects. Some were severe and life threatening, but others were just plain uncomfortable and annoying. It’s hard to go about your day when you are experiencing a constant dry mouth, foggy brain, and coordination issues. Many of the side effects of these “heavy” medications such as mood stabilizers and anti-psychotics can really affect your quality of life and even make matters worse mentally. As a result of this, I have had a difficult time finding the right medications since my body is quite sensitive.
What are some of the things you hate most about living with a mental illness?