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.
1. 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.