I hate the news and mainstream media. They brainwash us to buying things we don't need. They segregate certain groups in society for no reason whatsoever and highlight things unnecessarily, without fully explaining them which as a result creates a significant amount of uneducated people who don't fully understand the topic because the media don't portray it accurately or fairly.
This can be applied to a wide range of different topics, one of those being mental health. When a murderer or criminal is sent to prison or goes for trial, the media likes to highlight if they were suffering from a mental illness. Now first things first, I don't condemn murder or unnecessary violence, and I understand that certain mental illnesses can result in people doing things that they wouldn't normally do if the hormones in their brains were functioning normally. However, this only happens in a few cases. The vast majority of people living with mental illnesses live pretty normal life's, amongst society, even those with what are often seen as more serious mental illnesses such as bipolar, schizo-effective disorder or borderline personality disorder.
You don't need to highlight that the murderer had OCD, bipolar or depression, etc. unless it explicitly links to why they committed the murder. And if it does it should be made exceptionally clear that the vast majority of us with mental illnesses are completely safe to be around. Having a mental illness doesn't automatically make you dangerous. However, because the media fails to mention this; it leaves a large percentage of the public uneasy about people with mental illness and actually misinformed about the reality of living with a mental illness.
So today I wanted to share a bit of positivity and hopefully bring down the negative barriers that surround having a mental illness. Instead of drawing on the tiny percentage of people with mental illness that do commit horrible acts, actually focus on the vast majorly of us who are lovely, warming and incredibly sound human beings.
Here are 25 things you should know about people with mental illnesses:
1. We're some of the most empathic and compassionate people around
2. Because we understand what your going through
3. Even if they are completely different mental illnesses, there are elements we will be able to understand, for example; the stigma, discrimination and loneliness that comes with mental illness
4. We are incredibly supportive of everyone
5. We don't want others to go through what we have so we are often very passionate about educating others about mental health
6. We don't want our mental illness. Which is obvious to us but lots of people think we claim to have a mental illness just for the attention or sympathy
7. We are not doing it for attention, far from it.
8. We often feel like we are burden upon you, we are really sorry if we are, we don't mean to be
9. We are sorry if we ruin your plans at the last minute. Trust me, we wanted to go shopping, to that meal too, we, unfortunately, can't predict when we're going to have a bad mental health day.
10. We are not criminals or murders
11. In fact, we are actually less likely to commit a crime or murder
12. We are sorry if we appear 'high maintenance' we can't help having a mental illness. If we could help it, we wouldn't want a mental illness either
13. The stigma around mental illness winds us up so much. Please don't ever say the weather is bipolar or your so OCD because you love organising your pens into rainbow order
14. Sometimes we might start crying for no reason, please don't tell us to cheer up
15. Sometimes we get anxious or panicky over the littlest of things, which seem insignificant to you. Please don't tell us to stop worrying or to get over it
16. We often can't look forward to the future because we can't see one. Please don't force us to plan for one that our heart isn't in.
17. Sometimes we may self-harm. Please don't be shocked or make a big deal of any scars you may see
18. Sometimes we feel like there is no point in us carrying on. Please keep us safe if you expect that we may be thinking of taking our own life
19. We don't want to be wrapped up in cotton wool, so please try not to overdo it, we understand you want to help.
20. We just want to be treated like anyone else, like normal humans
21. But sometimes we do have bad days, and this is when we need extra support and care
22. Sometimes we push ourselves away from everyone. We don't mean to be rude we just need a bit of time to ourselves sometimes
23. We want to get better. We really do. Sometimes it doesn't look it but trust me, we do.
24. We are strong, very strong.
25. We won't give up hope. We can get better. We know that life isn't always going to be smooth, but we won't let it get in the way of us achieving fantastic things.
Hopefully, this post is more representative and generalizable of the vast Majority of us who suffer from a mental illness. Hopefully, a more accurate image than the media creates.
I hope you enjoyed this post. If there is anything you think should be added to the list, let me know in the comments below.
Thank you for reading, as always x