I always write these posts with one specific person in my mind in the hopes that the message can bring some sort of enlightenment and help them in anyway possible. Today, my message goes out to multiple people as I know this is a widespread topic that many people are currently facing and can relate to.
I’d like to take the time to speak about what its like living with someone who is facing a mental health disorder.
I know what it’s like to try and place yourself in the shoes of another… its not always so easy. Trying to understand what someone is going through when your not going through it yourself can be at times incredibly frustrating. Trying to listen as best you can and help in anyway possible can lead to the complete opposite result you were once expecting, instead being told to go away or that you “don’t get it”. I know when I was going through my difficult times with anxiety and depression my parents did the best they could, however, through those times in the beginning I felt as though they didn’t understand how I was feeling. As a parent you always want the best for your child, you know how much they are capable of and how much they can achieve so when they aren’t doing so its incredibly easy to get disappointed or snappy with them. When they tell you they are uncomfortable talking in front of lots of people, that they are struggling to get up in the morning, that they are afraid to be judged or called out, afraid to be compared to someone else, to talk about certain things, to go somewhere, or are just plain unhappy, its so easy to get upset and raise your tone and push them to do it because you know they can. However, I’m telling you from first hand experience that its not always the best way to react. The most important thing that you can do as a parent, sibling, aunt/uncle, grandparent, or friend, is to simply be there for them, love them and to just listen. Even to the things that they don’t have to say. It really is a solo journey for that person where you have to take baby steps alone and figure things out, so having that understanding support system that is there not to push you but embrace you and aid you is what makes the difference. Each person facing a mental health disorder goes through it at their own pace, in their own way, and in their own time. Having that patience to let them go through it and not making those simple things more difficult for them is incredibly important. Always celebrating the baby steps without automatically pushing to larger goals and realizing that what your child is going through is completely out of your control, is strong advice I can give to you. Speaking specifically to those around me, I know that for them not taking what other people had to say to heart and having faith in yourself and what you’re doing as a parent is what is needed. Never blame yourself for what you could’ve or felt you should’ve done because at the end of the day you are doing your best and all you can. Don’t feel helpless because by giving your love you are making a world of difference. I’m telling you now that it could be a long journey with tears and disagreements but that you must know that good things will come at the end. Unfortunately, we can’t just snap our fingers and take a loved one/friends troubles or pain away like we wish we could. By just being there with them, listening, having patience and giving them support and unconditional love we are doing our best. Knowing also, that it is completely fine to get help with a therapist or counselor if needed, sometimes having someone you don’t know that you can talk to can also make a world of difference. Mental health should not be treated as a taboo thing anymore, so many people face this and it must start to be treated as a disease like it is. There is no need to feel embarrassment or shame for the things you go through and it’s so important to realize that your opinion is the only one that matters. I hope that this message brought some insight to you and someone you know going through a mental health disorder. I hope you were able to take something away from it. As you know, if you ever need someone to talk to I’m here<3
I’d like to leave you with a quote:
“At the roof of this dilemma is the way we view mental health in this country. Whether an illness affects your heart, your leg or your brain, it’s still an illness, and there should be no distinction.” – Michelle Obama