Having mental health problems sucks. I’ve said it so many times and I’ll keep saying it. Along with the personal struggles that come along with mental health, stigma and misunderstanding comes along too. It’s a lot easier to call into work or miss class because you’re coughing up a lung than it is to say that you really just can’t get out of bed today.
Having people understand what you’re going through and sympathizing with you makes whatever you’re going through much easier. Recently, my grandpa passed away. It was incredibly difficult to take on emotionally, but going home and seeing all of my family and mourning with them made it easier. It was helpful to receive support from the people closest to me. Support for mental illness, however, is often much harder to find.
Having people know that you’re struggling, and understanding that struggle takes off part of the burden. If a professor hears someone coughing constantly throughout class, they may not feel as inclined to call on that student to answer a question. The professor has probably also been sick before and knows that it is hard to get things done when you’re ill. Unfortunately, depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues can be invisible to the naked eye. Friends that I have known for years have told me later on after learning about my mental health struggles that they had no idea that I was struggling.
It has always been hard for me to admit when I’m having a hard time. What I have learned throughout the years is that it is crucial that loved ones know what’s going on. They cannot help you if they do not know you need help. You don’t have to tell them everything if you don’t want to. You can be as vague as saying, “It’s been hard for me to do X lately, I just haven’t been feeling myself.” They need to know.
Do not worry about burdening your loved ones with your problems. I never wanted to tell my parents that I was sad because I didn’t want them to worry about me. But they probably should’ve been worrying about me. Think about being on the opposite sides of things. If one of my friends was struggling, I would want to know about it. Hearing that someone has been having problems makes me sad and makes me want to help.