Mental illness is different from many other illnesses, and for one sad reason – because people just don’t accept that it’s real, or worthy of the term ‘illness’. It’s all in your head, you can think your way out, I have bad days and I get over them, you should too.
I cannot think my way out of my illness any more than someone in a wheelchair can think their way out of it. What goes on in my head is just as real as what happens to the body of a diabetic or a cancer patient, and at times it can be just as crippling.
I am giving my life my best shot, and every time someone discounts mental illness for any reason, it hurts me. Every time someone tells me that I need to get over myself, that I’m being selfish, that I need to harden up, or that I need to stop doing this to the people I love, I know of one more person not to trust. I will think less of them for thinking less of me over something that is out of my control.
I did not choose to be abused. I did not choose to have my mind crumble under the pressure of a life that didn’t do me many favours. I’m making do with a damaged mind. And I do not deserve to be discounted because my scars are not physical.