There are certain criteria that need to be met in order for you to be classed as mentally ill. Or at least, that’s the overwhelming stigma that is still attached to mental illness. I wanted to write this post to clear up a few of the myths that are currently attached to mental health, as I believe the key to understanding anything is education.
The first myth I want to address is that depression and anxiety are the only mental health conditions that exist. This is certainly not true, and mental health issues can affect us in many different ways. Mental health conditions can arise from trauma in the past, genetics, environmental factors, body image issues, all kinds of things. There is no either or. As humans, we are all unique and therefore, so are our brains.
The second myth I want to kick in the butt is that you HAVE to be sad all the time in order to be depressed. LOL. First off, depression can affect even the happiest of individuals and as I mentioned earlier, there is no one way to deal with depression. For some, depression is chronic, meaning it exists within your mind for a long period of time and is just always ‘there’. For others, depression is much more severe and can of course make you sad all the time. The truth is, people with depression can still experience happiness. This is often why people are so shocked to learn that somebody they know suffers from depression, as they appear happy on the outside.
Finally, because you suffer from a mental health issue, you must be a weak person… right? WRONG. So so wrong. Having a mental illness does not mean that you are weak, in fact, being more sensitive to emotions brings out all kinds of amazing traits in us, such as compassion, empathy and kindness. For some, stress, anxiety and sadness manifest in more detrimental ways, that can have a huge impact on the way they live their lives. Everybody responds differently, whether that be to things such as stress, anxiety, pressure, sadness, heartbreak – whatever the issue, our minds have certain unique ways of dealing with each of these things. The fact is, there is no right or wrong way to deal with these emotions – the key is not to be hard on yourself for reacting differently to those around you.