Mental Illness. It’s all in my head. I’m well aware of this fact. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t real. It doesn’t mean I can switch it on and off when I want. It doesn’t mean I’m being dramatic. And it doesn’t mean I’m weak.
I know, that people who haven’t experienced depression, may think that we’re being dramatic; they may not understand how it is – which is a good thing, I wouldn’t want people to experience this. Even I feel as though I’m just being dramatic sometimes – even though I know I’m not!
But what we don’t need to hear, is when people think we are dramatic, or weak, or not really ill. We don’t need to hear that we’re being too negative. We don’t need to hear that we don’t need our medication. We don’t need to hear that there are other ways to get through this; ‘positive thinking’, ‘going outside’ & ‘meditation, not medication’.
We also don’t need a reason to be depression. It just happens.
Sometimes, when I mention that I’m having a bad time. I’m asked why? ‘What’s caused you to feel bad’, ‘Look for the cause and you’ll push through it’. I don’t know why I’m not happy. I don’t know why I feel so down. I don’t know why I cry for no reason. There isn’t really a reason. It just happens. I can’t just push through it all the time, I can’t just think happy thoughts.
When I say that I’m on my medication (anti-depressants), but that they’re not working 100% yet, I’ve been told that they won’t work anyway. That I shouldn’t need tablets to make me feel ‘normal’. I’ve had friends tell me they don’t believe in antidepressants. And it hurts to hear that. It hurts, because, what if I actually do need them? What if they actually are helping me? Why can’t they understand that I take them, and I feel just that little bit better for taking them. I wouldn’t take them if I didn’t think I needed them, I have better things to be spending my money on every month!
I wouldn’t sit and tell people why they should let their ear infection heal through meditation, so why am I told this about my depression? It may ‘just be in my head’, but that ear infection is ‘just in their ear’, the only difference is, is that there is a known cause for an ear infection, and a known working fast treatment.
I’ve also had a friend tell me that I have to much negativity in my life; but I can’t help that. I can’t help the fact that I have depression, that I can’t seem to laugh some days. I can’t help the fact that I cry more than some people do. I can’t help the fact that my brain tells me that I’m worthless. It hurt to hear that be said to me too, because I hide it 90% of the time from my family and friends. I hide most of my emotions, most of my feelings, most of my thoughts. I am positive with my friends, sometimes I just have the odd day when I’m not. And it hurts when I feel as though I’m not being supported or taken seriously. It hurts knowing that some people don’t believe me, or think I’m just bring dramatic.
I know I have some amazing friends, friends who have helped me when I’ve been in some really dark places.
But sometimes, I feel that people get sick of it after a while. I’ve had this for a few years now, surely I should be ‘normal’ again?
I wish that people would just understand, that yes, it is all in my head.
But that doesn’t make it any less real.