One of the worst parts of dealing with mental illnesses are the people who don’t understand them. There are a few different types of these people. The cheery, the worriers and the non-believers.
The cheery are those who can’t grasp why you’re so down in the dumps. They’re the people who see the cup half full and don’t understand why you can’t see it that way as well. If they notice that you’re down they just tell you to be happy, cheer up, smile. When that “shockingly” doesn’t work they spout out the phrase “I don’t get why you can’t just be happy”. This phrase is known unfortunately well by those who deal with depression. What the cheery don’t realize is that we would love to “just be happy”. That is exactly what we want, but turning off depression and anxiety is not as easy as just flipping a switch. It takes time and support.
The worriers are the ones who think you can’t be trusted to ever be alone. They think that just because you’re in the middle of an episode, you’re going to kill yourself any second. The worriers aren’t necessarily bad, in some cases they save peoples lives and can be very helpful. What the worriers need to understand is that just because you’re having an episode doesn’t mean that you’re suicidal. Some episodes are significantly worse than others, they have high points and low points. Constantly having them trying to keep watch on you can be very tiresome for someone who is already mentally exhausted.
The non-believers think the whole thing is a sham. They think anyone who says they’re dealing with a mental illness just wants attention. These type of people often like to call out those who say they have problems by calling them weak and needy. They say you should stop trying to get others to feel bad for your “fake illness”, just because they themselves haven’t dealt with such problems. The non-believers need to be more understanding. Saying you don’t believe in mental illnesses just because you don’t have them is just like saying you don’t believe in chicken pox or any other sickness for that matter. Yeah you’ve seen other people with it, but you yourself have never had it so it can’t be real.
If you’re someone who doesn’t suffer from a mental illness, please try not to be one of these people. If someone is suffering try to be understanding of what is going on. I know it’s not the easiest to help someone who needs it, we often shut out those who try to help or sometimes we ourselves don’t know how to explain what kind of help we need. It can be frustrating when you ask someone what’s wrong and they can’t tell you because they themselves don’t know. All I ask is that you be patient, because sometimes we seem like we don’t want help, when that’s desperately what we desire.