It’s true that we all have some kind of psychological struggle that can easily develop into a mental illness. And most psychologists will tell you that mental illnesses are usually the main reason behind one’s inability to function properly.
However, what many won’t tell you is that mental illnesses don’t always have to be a debilitating factor – at least not on the surface. I know this for a fact because I know how it is to bear your struggle inside while functioning normally in your day-to-day life.
I am a high achiever, and I don’t let any struggle hold me back. And this makes my condition seem nonexistent in the eyes of others. I think that’s the hardest thing to face – when others don’t see that you do need support.
I’ve had conversations with psychologists who have given me lots of analyses as to why I may be feeling like that, and rarely who has pinpointed a real reason. Have you had that moment when someone tells you you’re acting too childish and that you should sober up and face reality?
It’s easy to say this when you see the person being capable of coping with the surface of things. But it’s hard to step in their shoes – the shoes of a person who is having a real struggle with a mental condition that requires attention and understanding.
People think that mental illnesses inevitably make a person look different. They think that each diagnosis bears these visible symptoms that scream ‘There’s a problem here!’ Well, let me tell you: it’s not always like that.
It could be that most of us who are facing this struggle know that we can’t give in, and so we seem OK. This doesn’t, however, mean that we are OK. I know it for myself – there are times when it becomes so difficult, that only then are my problems noticed.
And when I want to discuss these things when I have the power to face them, so many people start saying that I am just the complaining type of person and that I should be satisfied with the life I have created for myself.
It’s hardest when you get to a professional and they don’t possess the understanding you need so much, and because of that, they don’t provide you with the support you need, leaving you all by yourself, as you mostly are.
No, you don’t need to show anything when you have a problem, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t have a problem. It’s a bit harder than the idea that we need to ‘fake it till we make it.’ We need someone who will see us for who we are on the inside, not someone who will say that we are doing well.
We have come to that point in time where people only perceive the surface and don’t care too much about seeing deeper. And it really hurts to know that even your closest ones can’t imagine what could be happening on the inside.
And then there are those times when we finally break down and are unable to keep up the fight. I have seen myself lying in bed unable to go to the bathroom, lacking the wish for the primary necessities of life such as food and water.
If you are one of the fighters who keep their battles inside while being ‘too functional to have their mental illness taken seriously,’ know that these breakdowns are just natural and expected.
And you need to know that your fight makes you stronger and that you should never give it up. In the meanwhile, if someone tells you that you’re alright and that you shouldn’t ask for too much, let them think that way because they can’t see it any other way.
Your job is to try and relate to those who understand your fight and who are willing to provide you with the essential understanding you need. Even with professionals, don’t expect that if their profession has that name, that they need to be able to understand your mind well.
In the end, there are good and rotten apples in every basket. Your job is to find the right one for you. Whatever the case – know that you are not being childish and that you are not being ungrateful.
You have a real challenge that you are facing on a daily basis and you are perfectly aware that it’s not just a silly thought. Knowing this and accepting it will allow you to face it even better.
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A professional writer with over a decade of incessant writing skills. Her topics of interest and expertise range from health, nutrition and psychology.