30 things those with mental illness wish everyone knew about it

To live with mental illness during your life takes a lot of strength and determination. For someone who hasn’t experienced it, it can be hard to know how to support someone who is struggling.

To make it easier on those who suffer and those who wish to help, we asked our followers to share what they wished people knew about mental illness and this is what they told us.

“That it’s real. We aren’t just over sensitive or weak. It’s debilitating both physically and mentally.”
– Helena O

“Just because I’m laughing and smiling doesn’t mean I’m not fighting a million irrational thoughts in my head.”
– Laura S

“That its not just being down, I get told every day “you don’t look depressed” it’s so frustrating.”
– Rachael B

“That we are not lazy, just incapable of functioning. We cannot pull ourselves together.”
– Julia W

“It’s not a fad or a way to get sympathy but something that you have to fight against each and every day.”
– Demelza L

“That it affects people in so many different ways and even though it’s invisible it’s very much there.”
– Samuel G

“That its okay to talk about it.”
– Michelle W

“It’s neither a choice nor a weakness and it takes everything you have to fight it everyday.”
– Faye M

“It’s not the same as standing up in front of an audience and getting anxiety; that’s normal. These attacks whether panic, depression,bipolar,anxiety etc happen out of the blue and unexpectedly and are often very hard to control or overcome.”
– Julie K

“How much we want our normal back.”
– Helen S

“It’s easy to say “get over it.” But for some of us, it isn’t that easy.”
– Cindy W

“More patience and understanding would go a long way.”
– Emma W

“Sometimes a brain injury or disease then becomes an emotional mental illness too.”
– Niki R

“It’s daunting. At first there is denial and you go through the grief of your old self. It’s hard to wake up every day and paint on a smile but we do it and for that we are true warriors.”
– Samantha J

“That yoga Pilates or whatever the new fad is, will not ‘fix’ me.”
– Louise J

“That the fatigue is overwhelming and no amount of going for a walk to get some fresh air or making an effort is going to make that go away.”
– Emma H

“The biological side.”
– Charlene T

“When I cry and talk the biggest pile of shit, listen to me. What might not be important to you could mean the world to me.”
– Gillian S


“I’m doing the best I can. I am already very hard on myself, I need your understanding not judgement.”
– Michele B

“Mental illness can be controlled and life can be lived but relapses can and do happen at any stage. It’s never something you can just forget about.”
– Claire R

“My emotions are not aimed at them.”
– Kim M

“That no one is immune.”
– Laura B

“No matter what the size of the problem, we can’t help the way our brains chemicals interpret them.”
– Charlie T

“That its okay if they don’t understand it because I’m still learning too.”
– Chidi O

“It could be you one day.”
– Liz T

“That even the smallest of negative comments can destroy you for weeks on end.”
– Rachel M

“That you don’t always need time alone. Sometimes you just need their support. For them to notice when you’re struggling; when you’re acting for them.”
– Becky M

“My partner needs my support every day and I’m happy to provide because when he starts to feel more like himself, life is very good for us both.”
– Rachel R

“That some hide it because they don’t want to hurt you in any way. Even though each time they do hide it, it kills them a little.”
– Melissa S

“If I’m having a bad day I don’t want to be forced to cheer up or feel guilty when their attempts to cheer me up don’t work.”
– Nicola P

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