“God,will she EVER shut up about being depressed? If she’s that depressed, she needsto get help. No one else wants to hear about her problems. She obviously justwants attention.” Ever heard those words? Yeah, me too. These things are saiddaily. If your life is too sad, you’re being dramatic. If it’s too happy, you’redefinitely hiding something. We forget that people suffering with mentalillnesses are human too, someone with thoughts and feelings.
Some people havethe mindset that “If you don’t fit my worldview, you’re worthless.”TodayI’m going to be talking about the judgment against mental illnesses. Firstly,how it affects people, secondly, different stigmas against them, and lastly,the difficulties of having a mental illness.Socialmedia is one thing. Society is another. In my years as someone who isdepressed, I see it in people’s eyes when I talk about my feelings. Did I sharetoo much? Did I not act normally enough? Whispers about the scars on my body.”She’s looking for attention.
God, I hate attention-whores. Is she psychotic orsomething? This has to be for attention. No normal person would do this.”No.
Definitelynot normal. Attention-whoring. These are things people who are mentally illhear every single day, from people who simply don’t want to understand whatthey’re going through. No, it’s all in your head. If you would just be happier— but oh, not too happy, that’s lying. If you would just try harder — but no,not too hard, because then you’re faking. If you’d just act NORMAL, God, why isit so hard for you to act normal?Mentalillness isn’t something that’s controlled.
It’s one of the most uncontrollablediseases there is. Sure, you can take medication, or go to talk therapy, learnthe signals of depression or anxiety. One day, you can be invisible in a crowd,school days without anyone knowing how hard it is for you, without the curiousand judgmental stares. And then something slips. You say the wrong words. Youhave a breakdown. Just like that, right back to the beginning. Its all forattention isn’t it? Why else would you be doing this?Maybe itis for attention.
But maybe not the type of attention you think. A cry forhelp. For someone to understand. If only you could understand how difficult itis being mentally ill. Maybe we just need someone to talk to because we’re in avery negative mind set. Maybe we’re crying because things are overwhelming. Thethoughts we’re having, something someone said, or just being tired. Tired ofeverything.
Tired of being ill. Tired of not being considered normal.Judgmentagainst mental illnesses is real. Not getting the job because the manager foundout you’re depressed. Being fired for not being the most cheerful and happiestall the time at work. Missing too much school for appointments and breakdowns,trying so hard to control the monsters that live inside your head.
Losingfriends or respect from people because you’re too much of a handful. And theeveryday stigma of knowing the world thinks you’re faking, that it’s all inyour head, that it’s just for attention, causes many people with mental illnessto never access help. They live their entire lives thinking they’re theproblem, until something happens and they can’t take it anymore.
Mentalillness may be “all in your head,” but that doesn’t make it less real thanhaving cancer or diabetes. In the end, no one knows why someone acts the waythey do. We can’t read each other’s minds. Even if you say, “But I know someonewho really does do it for attention!” do you actually know that’s why he’sdoing it? Can you actually read his mind and trace his thought process? Or areyou assuming, casting your own opinion and annoyances on someone reaching outfor help?