(Disclaimer: I will not hop on a soap box about anything I have not experienced personally.)
(Also disclaimer: this blog is blunt and may step on a few toes, but it's personal. I am in no way attacking specific people but simply bringing attention to this subject. If the shoe fits, wear it. Hopefully you will take something from this. If it doesn't, don't. You probably agree with me.)
interchangeable (adjective): capable of being put or used in the place of each other; apparently identical; very similar
example: supper - dinner
not an example: mental health - emotions
Yes, you probably already know where this is going, but really, let's talk about it. Mental illness is a condition that affects a person's thinking, feeling, and behavior. Emotion is a conscious mental reaction, a state of feeling, and the affective aspect of consciousness.
My question is why? Why do we pick and choose which mental illnesses we get to use interchangeably and why do we only use certain ones? Why is sad suddenly depressed and why is nervous suddenly anxious? You're sad and having a bad day so you're depressed? Does that mean when you have a headache you automatically have a brain tumor? You like to party every weekend so that makes you an alcoholic?
If that's the case, why does being a party goer make you an alcoholic and not a drug addict? Does that not sound as cool as being an alcoholic? If we're going to throw around depression like a softball why don't we throw around other disorders? Is depression one of the "least serious" ones? Because it's pretty serious if you ask me.
Let me also say, throwing around mental disorders makes them seem less important for those who actually have them. You know how many times I have kept the fact that I have depression to myself after hearing someone say "I'm so depressed" when they weren't even sad, just trying to add drama to their statement?? We wonder why we never know when people are depressed or suicidal. Depression is taken so lightly, why would we tell someone we're depressed and expect them to take it as more than I'm just really sad. We have a hard exam that we don't want to take and we say "shoot me" as if that is an appropriate response to not wanting to take a test. You know how many people are thinking that to themselves everyday hoping that someone actually will?
Why do we use anxiety and depression? Why do we use OCD? Why do we leave schizophrenia alone? Why do we never mention the eating disorders? Are we scared to step on someone's toes? Will that hurt someone's feelings if we misuse their mental disorder? Oh but wait, depressed people don't care when you misuse that? Said who?
I wish, WISH, that I was just sad. I WISH it was just one bad day. I WISH that I could just "get happy". I have been fighting every single day for over four years to be happy, to let it only be temporary sadness. I have a personal battle with my mental disorders every single day and you think you have the right to degrade the severity of it because it adds more drama to what you're saying?? You've never experienced depression and you think you have the right to disregard how hard it is for me? People with depression don't just get depressed and then move on an hour later. We struggle for months, years, lifetimes. Alcoholics? Yeah, that doesn't mean to like to have fun. That means you have a disease that has complete control of you and you risk losing everything and everyone you have any time you take a sip. Does that sound like having fun? Like you get to party all the time? PTSD? I remember dating a guy who locked me in rooms and cussed me out any time I misspoke. I remember the time he raised his fist at me and the fear I felt in the moment. PTSD is flinching any time someone reaches a hand out to shake mine or give me a high five now. PTSD is when you hear a firework go off and completely lose it because suddenly you're back to the day you watched a gun shot kill your brother when y'all were fighting for your country together.
We are losing touch with those who are struggling, and it's our fault. It's OUR fault. Did you read that? OUR FAULT. We want people to open up to us but we throw mental illness under the bus like it's insignificant. How can we expect people to be honest and open about their struggles if we excuse them every time. We have to stop making our stories more dramatic for the sake of disrespecting someone's struggles. We have become so inconsiderate towards anyone that isn't us. It isn't hurting us, so we don't think about who it could potentially hurt. We don't get to wonder why we never know about what people are struggling with when we're the ones not even thinking about what our words could be doing to people.
We have to change, we have to start caring like we pretend to on social media, we have to start meaning what we say. You are not the only ones with feelings, you are not the only one that gets hurt by words, remember that.
You are worth so much,
God loves you.