I’m basing this post off of videos like this one (The article seems fine):
I absolutely hate them. Constantly on the internet I see people posting things like: “never do this to someone with depression/anxiety.” “If you are dating someone with anxiety, do this, this, and this.” And it really bothers me because, no. All you need to do is be supportive. Listen. And if you can’t understand, admit it, but support the ones you care about.
Depression and anxiety (mental health in general) have a huge stigma. And as someone that suffers from anxiety and depression I hate seeing things that place me into some category of being this fragile piece of glass that will shatter if people don’t tip-toe around me.
Sure, videos like this one paint a very vivid picture of what it is like and the thoughts that most people do struggle with the most; but that’s it. Like there is nothing more to us. As I continue, I can only base this off of my experience and my own opinion. I know that everyone works differently. The same as a lot of coping strategies don’t work for me, what works for me, won’t work for everyone else.
We have these days shown in this video. Which can be weeks, months, maybe a year or so. But the biggest thing we need in those times, is just a voice of reassurance. Someone that can just listen with out judgement. We don’t give a fuck when you say suicide is selfish. We know that. We want to kill ourselves because we want to be selfish for once. Suicide feels like the only choice we have complete control over in our lives. And when you say, “how could you do that to me”, it’s like saying your existence is the only thing in life worth living for. For me it’s like… uhm… how about you let me do what I want and stop thinking about yourself.
The best response I’ve ever been given was, “Try and schedule it tomorrow.”
That’s when it changes. That’s when control is back in my court. And these videos never show that. That we are more than those pestering thoughts.
My first week back at this college town I thought those things. “I’m a failure” “Life is so pointless.” etc, etc. And today, even though I’m so busy I don’t know how to function, I am being given opportunities left and right that make me feel that somehow I’m succeeding.
And it’s my choice. It’s 100% MY choice. Not my therapist. Not my family & friends. Not crap articles and videos on the internet made for people to be coerced into understanding something they simply can’t if they don’t go through it.
Anxiety and depression isn’t a sob story. On my good days I’m completely grateful I struggle from these mental battles because they show me a whole new side to the human world. I strongly believe that anxiety and depression guides me through my life and forces me to challenge myself and grow. I wouldn’t push myself as hard as I do if I didn’t struggle with this.
The first step is realising that it’s your choice. Once you can swallow that, that’s when things change. These videos and articles and crap facebook posts about others guiding you into some sort of “mental cure” is crap. If you want to help someone you love, just listen. And if you are feeling this way, just express.
Stop being afraid to talk about it! I love meeting my therapist on occasions. I think even people that don’t have a mental illness should attend therapy. I don’t hide my medication. It stays right out in the open. When I’m having an anxiety day, I let people know right from the start, “If I seem weird today, it’s just because my body is a little out of wack.” No one has ever been negative to me. (And the one who has is no longer a big part in my life.) If anything, it sparks conversation. And when you can be open and also not expect people to cater to you, that’s how things can be brought to light in a positive way.
People can’t prevent suicide. I don’t think anyone can ever take credit like that… “I saved someone from committing suicide.” I was given the credit once for getting a loved one to go to rehab. But I had nothing to do with it. That person made that choice. The same way a person that is considering suicide will make that choice. You aren’t saving anyone. You are simply encouraging them to keep living and giving them a chance to think about it more.
But be confident in whatever you choose. YOU are the leader of your own life.