I'm Depressed, but I'm Not Dangerous

6:00:00 PM

I wish that there wasn't such a stigma surrounding mental health and mental illnesses. Instead of people seeing anxiety and depression as chemical imbalances, those diagnosed with them are seen as "crazy" and sometimes even "dangerous." 

I understand that there have been incidences in which people with mental illnesses have crossed the line and either harmed themselves or others, but that doesn't mean that it's ok to generalize the group as a whole. 

One of the biggest problems I see now is how people don't want to be defined by the actions of their race, gender, or any form of classification. So, why is it ok that we generalize those with mental illnesses? 

I have to be honest, I have most definitely struggled through a lot in my life. I've been formally diagnosed with PTSD, anxiety, and depression. My psychologist, psychiatrist, and I were in the process of more specific diagnosis, when I decided to stop attending our appointments. I realized that the medications and the therapy just weren't working for me. 

Honestly, I had fallen into the trap that society had set. I had thought for so many years that if I had to try medication that there was something wrong with me. I didn't want to have to depend on medicine just to be normal and that made my conditions worse. Eventually I tried it and I ended up ruling it out. Not because of what society thought, but because of how it made me feel. I just didn't feel like myself anymore. 

The medication wasn't my first attempt at living with my anxiety and depression. I had tried taking advantage of the counseling center on my college campus. However, I didn't have the best experience. I have taken more psychology classes than I can count, so I understand the different therapy techniques, but we just didn't find one that worked for me. Not only that, but I didn't feel safe. 

You would think that when you're being asked to talk about your feelings that you can do so openly and honestly, but unfortunately that's not the case. Even in our most vulnerable state, we must sensor our words. If we even say something along the lines of what might seem like a suicidal message then everything can change. The people that you're confiding are able to make decisions that could essentially change your life. 

I know that in some circumstances it is important that people are given the help and treatments that they need, even if they can't come to that decision on their own. However, I think we should be able to say how we feel without being afraid that we may be treated differently or even hospitalized just for trying to verbalize our emotions. 

I'm going to be real with you. I've dealt with my own deep dark depressions. I've wished that I could just disappear and not deal with anything any longer. I've come to terms with some of the things that I can't change, and I know that I'll probably continue to struggle with depression in the future. However, that doesn't make me dangerous. 

Yes, I can honestly say I've had more suicidal thoughts than I'd like to admit, but I have never once acted on them. Whether it's the guilt of leaving loved ones behind or the fear of actually harming myself, I know that I couldn't do it. 

Realistically, we should be able to talk openly about our emotions and our hardships without worrying about what might possibly happen. 

One of the biggest steps that someone can make while seeking help, is talking to someone. If a person scrounges up the courage to seek help, confide in someone, or try treatment, we should be applauding them. Not because they are trying to work through the horrible thing that people think mental illness is, but because they are working on themselves. 

Whether someone is struggling with a mental or a physical illness, they should feel comfortable in society - and I mean that in every sense. They shouldn't feel judged, they shouldn't feel less than, and they shouldn't feel anything other than normal. 

It's the fear of how society will react, feel, or, judge us that leads us to bottling everything up inside. It's why people hide their illnesses and take their own lives instead of ever letting anyone in. Maybe if we stopped seeing mental illnesses as these devastating and dangerous diseases, then we'd be able to work through them. 

As I've mentioned both in this post, and many others, I struggle with both mental and physical illnesses. If you or someone you know ever needs someone to talk to, my inbox is always open! 

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