Before I get into this, please note that I am not a medical professional. My thoughts and advice come from my experiences, careful internet research, and discussions with others also suffering from/coping with anxiety and depression. This post will probably be the first of many on the subject of mental health.
I would first like to say some things that I see around a lot but cannot reiterate enough:
- You are not alone. Many people suffer from mental health issues, and it’s okay. There are people out there who can/will/want to help you get through this. There are people out there who will listen to you, give you advice, and try to be there for you in whatever capacity you need them to.
- There are people out there who are assholes. They’ll tell you that taking medicine makes you weak, that you’re not great to be around because you’re sad all the time; they’ll make you feel like a burden for needing help. They are wrong. Do not listen to them. (The voice at the back of your mind that says those things? Don’t listen to it, either.)
- Your feelings (or lack of feelings if you happen to go through stages of apathy, a common sign/symptom of depression) are valid and important.
- MEDICATIONS ARE NORMAL. GOOD. HELPFUL. NECESSARY. Having a headache? Take a painkiller. Sinus infection? Antibiotics. Feeling anxious? Take your meds. Depressed? Meds. Some people don’t need medications. Some people can get by on nature walks and spa days. Good for them. Sincerely. If you’re not one of those people, that’s okay.
I seem to see those points being made all over the internet. I scroll through Facebook a few times a day and see at least three text images with encouraging words to break the stigma around mental health. However, I rarely see the following “handy things to know” for people who are new to dealing with their poor mental health. So, I have some points to add to the discussion/awareness: