31 January 2017

High Functioning Mental Illness

This article on "The Mighty" really spoke to me.  It talks about people who are high functioning but still have a mental illness, like me.  I am a (fairly) productive member of society, I work a 32-hour a week job, sometimes I even work on my extra day off.  I cook dinner for our house nearly every night, (even when my husband gets home earlier #sometimesbitter).  But I suffer from depression and anxiety.  Even on days when I feel like I'm dying on the inside (or sometimes the outside) I get up and go to work, I make dinner, I swiffer up more dog hair than is possible for our one dog to shed.  

So when a “high-functioning” person asks for help or admits to himself and to someone else his struggles, it takes a lot of bravery. These people have worked every single day to build a “normal” world for themselves are terrified of admitting mental illness, and when they finally do and are met with rejection, little understanding and no empathy

When I tell people that I take an anti-depressant and mood stabilizers I often get disbelieving looks.  People don't believe that you can be a high functioning adult and have a mental illness and that's just unbelievably false.  The article even mentions mental health professionals can sometimes have difficulty with this idea.  People who have experience and training the field!  

I feel like you can even struggle with this with the people you love.  They know you can get out of bed because you just did it yesterday to go to work.  But they don't see that you're suffering as intently as you are because you do make that effort to function on a daily basis.  Be honest with your loved ones, its ok to tell them you need help, that you're struggling.  After all if you can't get help from the ones closest to you who can you get support from?  

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