In this post I’m going to talk about how I hid my mental health for so long, what signs others may show and what definitely not to say to people going through mental health issues.
I am a person who always has a smile on her face. Whether I’m happy or sad, as soon as I’m around other people, I cant help but smile. Obviously this is very frustrating in some situations, especially when I’m mad or trying to be sympathetic towards someone.
This is probably one of the biggest reasons it was so easy for me to hide. I can always put a smile on my face when needed and I guess no one around me saw through it.
Another reason was distance. When I was going through my worst, my closest friends and family did not live with or near me and when I did see them on the odd weekend, it was very easy to pretend everything was fine. For a long time, I myself didn’t even accept that anything was wrong with and so it was easy to show others that I was okay.
I know these two reasons themselves don’t seem huge, but it’s what happened. The biggest reason aside from those is the fact that I myself didn’t accept that anything was wrong with me.
Over the years, from dealing with my own mental health, as well as trying to help some of my friends with there’s, I’ve learned that you can’t help anyone who doesn’t want to be helped. No matter how much you push or try, unless they themselves first accept that something is wrong and that they want help, nothing you say will help them.
For me, when I was first starting to show some signs of depression and anxiety, my cousins picked up on it and took me to therapy. However, I only went a couple times and didn’t take anything they or the therapist said to heart or into consideration. I was in denial. I was sure that whatever I was going through was a phase and that I didn’t need any help.
Also, one of my close friends admitted to many self harm practices that they do. However, whenever I try to check in or give them advice, they never listen and always swear that they don’t do it because they’re sad but just because they are bored. In my eyes though, whatever the reason, they still would benefit from help. However, every time I try to talk to them about it, they push me away. So I show them that I support them and that I’ll always be there for them when they are ready to talk about it.
Now I know that sometimes, with more severe mental illnesses, waiting around will not help the person if they are about to end their life. In this situation, the best thing is to go to the police if you believe they are in immediate danger of taking their lives.
If as well, if you don’t think waiting around is best even if its not as severe, you can always go to a trusted authority figure in their life, like a parent or teacher and try to bring them help that way.
No matter which option you choose, there will probably be a bit of time in which the person you are trying to help resists you. This is normal. Mental health still has a huge stigma around it and sometimes people may not necessarily want to accept that they have to work on theirs. Once the person starts accepting it and making some progress, they’ll see that you only wanted what was best for them.
I remember when my cousins first told my parents, I was terrified and upset with her. But after some time, getting help, and starting the process of fighting for myself, I realized she did it out of love and I’ll forever be grateful.
One last thing I wanted to talk about is what everyone says to me when they find out I have depression and am on meds. The most common is “You’re always so happy, I never would’ve guessed” or “Really? I never see you crying”. Honestly these two annoy me the most. Yes I hide it well, but so do a lot of people, and just because someone seems happy, doesn’t mean they are all the time. As well, depression doesn’t automatically mean crying. For me personally I cry very easily and all the time, but the two aren’t interchangeable as terms.
If someone trusts you enough and opens up about their mental health, be supportive. Don’t make offhand comments because even if you mean it as a joke, sometimes it’s not perceived that way.
Anyways, I still suck at ending these. So I’m just going to say, that’s all for now, and maybe try to take some time to check on those that are close to you.
With lots of love,
Your Mental Health Mathie