5 honest truths about mental health.

Mental health isn’t a trend. It isn’t a group on Facebook or a card to play for pity. Mental health is a backpack you can’t take off, carrying the weight of your past and the burden of your thoughts. It’s a loss of control, the truth behind your mask. It’s your head in your hands and ringing in your ears. So, don’t say you’re sorry; say you understand. Don’t say statistics; say you cry too. Don’t say this world is hard; say it’s possible to survive.

health1. Depression. Depression isn’t suicidal. It doesn’t paint purple bags beneath your eyes or leave your wrists scared with self-loath. There’s no rain cloud over your head or an all black dress code. You don’t spend your days choking on tears with makeup stained cheeks. Depression isn’t an Instagram caption, proclaiming sadness about a broken heel and it isn’t an opportunity to incorporate self-pity into casual conversation. Depression isn’t robotic. You can still express a genuine smile; you just may cherish it more.

2. Bi Polar. Bi Polar is not crazy. It’s not a mental slide, ascending from bliss to insanity in a matter of minutes. It isn’t an anticipated breakdown from a cartoon fire burning in your eyes or bellows of smoke rising from your head. Your conversations don’t play out like mad libs and your tainted thoughts don’t stray from common sense. Bi Polar isn’t the light switch of someone fiddling after a sudden outage. It doesn’t symbolize weakness and it doesn’t symbolize loss of control. Bi Polar is a mental spectrum; it’s a hypothetical thermometer, an unexplainable curse. The good days are good, the bad days are bad and the ‘normal’ days are few and far between.

3. Insomnia. Insomnia isn’t a late night movie marathon. It isn’t a missed curfew or a restless sleep, welcoming Monday morning.  It’s a racing mind, a stream of thoughts, a distorted reality. It’s a desperation for sleeping pills, therapy, or a bedtime companion. Insomnia is a battle between your mind. A battle to close your eyes, rest your thoughts, and end the day with peace behind you.

 4. Anorexia. Anorexia is not a missed meal, a number on the scale, a mentality you choose to obey. It isn’t a distorted mirror, it’s a distorted perspective, a lying society. Anorexia is never good, never pretty, never the best. It’s words that work against you, opinions that make you weak. It’s the thought of thin and fat, clinging to your mind, to the food in front of you, to the person you want to be.

5. OCD. OCD is the dissection of your life, the aroma of hand sanitizer, the relationship with perfection. It’s the fear of wrong. Wrong placement, wrong timing, wrong outcome. It’s a tidy chaos, a disguised flaw. It’s the compulsion that things could be cleaner, better, different.  It’s said to be admirable. People compliment your matching decor, your spotless tabletops, your alphabetical DVD collection. Rarely do they look beyond it. Rarely do they see external cleanliness compensating for an internal disaster. True OCD is using physical items, the things you have most control over, as an anchor for when things in your mind and things in your life, go so awry.

66 thoughts on “5 honest truths about mental health.

  1. I like this a lot. I personally suffer from Generalized Anxiety Disorder (during my last doctor visit, he informed me that I literally check all the boxes, which was unsettling, if I’m being honest) and the lack of understanding about mental health has had a huge negative impact on my life. I support anyone trying to spread the word about it.

    • Thank you! I developed GAD as a result of insomnia. Regardless of the impact it has on your life, you’ll come out on top. I appreciate the comment, blogging seems like the best way to get a message across sometimes.

      • I really loved this as well — the OCD section particularly, as I battle that too. I will say though, that OCD isn’t only about physical items. I have OCD with thoughts, compulsive disordered thinking, and that manifests very differently — I am not a tidy person to say the least! But I am definitely obsessed with wrong doing, wrong timing, wrong outcome.

        Beautiful writing — just wanted share my two cents. xo

  2. Reblogged this on Nocturnal Admissions and commented:
    This child has been peeking through my window.
    Nailed #1 and #3 to perfection.

    #5?
    Not at all. My life and mind and environment is constantly in a shambles, BUT…
    I have 175 DVDs on my shelves in alphabetical order, and if I ever get around to it I’m going to re-do it all over by director.
    In alphabetical order, of course.

  3. Wonderful post! I really love the way you mentioned that people can use different comments to be more sensitive and not offensive with someone who has mental health issues. I especially loved the last one, Don’t say this world is hard; say it’s possible to survive. perfect.

  4. Thank you for writing something like this :)
    I really enjoyed this line under depression “You can still express a genuine smile; you just may cherish it more.”
    Would you mind if I let it inspire a poem?

  5. I think you write with insightful fire and descriptive wit. Thanks for cutting through the crap and leading some discourse on the endless slog of imperfection

  6. This post and all the others I’ve read have been fascinating and helpful. I’m glad I found it in Freshly Pressed and will Follow from now on. I relate to many of the issues you so constructively and creatively write about. It took me writing a memoir to finally discuss my own battles – and solutions – to depression. Part of the healing solution for me was use of humor, another reason I relate to your posts, and so you’ll see humor used in many posts on my website mikeandberg.com. Check it out and read some as well as information about the memoir, Maybe Boomer.
    I look forward to reading more of your views on attaining stronger mental health!

    • Thank you! I’m so glad you came across it :) That’s exciting that you got to use a memoir to convey the emotions and obstacles you’ve once faced. I’ll be sure to look into it. I appreciate you sharing :)

  7. Great post!
    Truthful and honest!
    Real cool, real cool!
    You know that the society out there, they only judge before they understand…
    I’m so glad that there’s people like you :)
    Who understands and willing to work it out together, without any lame advice about how we should live our life…

    God bless you and your writings!

    • Thank you! Society’s a hard thing to be up against but I already see the stigma in mental health starting to be lifted so hopefully we’ll keep fighting this battle. Thank you for the encouraging comment :)

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