If you are close to someone who has a mental illness, chances are you have been affected by it one way or another. I get it, it’s hard for you to show empathy towards something you have never experienced. You ask questions only to be even more confused when we try to explain our symptoms. If you are being completely honest, you probably think we are just being over sensitive and just need to snap out of it, and start appreciating the positive things in our lives. Count our blessings, right?
Don’t get us wrong, we don’t blame you for not being able to understand us. We are just exhausted from trying to make you understand. Trying to convince someone that your illness is real, is downright exhausting. We are over thinkers, and it’s true, we can take things out of context at times. It turns in to us being paranoid that you will now think we are crazy.
It becomes easier to take the route of pushing you away – that is much less frustrating than trying to make you understand. Personally, I’ve often thought that maybe I would be better off being alone. I wouldn’t have to worry about what anyone else thinks. I wouldn’t have to pretend to be better off than I really am. I wouldn’t have to see the blank stare in your eyes when I try and make you understand what I am going through.
So please, help your loved one and take my advice. Educate yourself on our illness and tell them you get it. Trust that it is not something we can just snap out of. Understand and reassure us that we are not alone in this battle. We want you to know how common mental illness is and learn the symptoms so you can reassure us that we will be okay when we need to be told that. The weight that has been holding us down will be lifted. Instead of feeling like a burden, we will open up and let you in. And then I promise, we won’t push you away.