The Scary Side OF Mental Illness

I’m sure a majority of those reading my blog have some form of mental illness. It’s what this blog essentially revolves around. Something I find is that those around you who don’t suffer from mental illness, or even just your mental illness, don’t quite understand how scary and overwhelming mental illness can be.

Those around you not understanding

There are many aspects and traits associated with mental illness. Some are scary, some are difficult. Having those close to you not understand your mental illness can be quite difficult. On the other side, not knowing what your loved one is truly going through is also scary. Mental illness has such vast complexity. People may not know why you act the way you do, or why you may be having  a panic attack, for example.. There is always the fear of them looking at you different or treating you different which can be unsettling. What you have to remember and reassure yourself, is that what you are experiencing is out of your control. To avoid the scary assumptions related to your illness, the best thing to do is to explain to those around you what you may be going through. Yes, putting it into words can be hard on you, but it may actually help you and your loved ones, in the long run.

Will i lose people over my illness?

Unfortunately, sometimes this happens. There are going to be people who simply can’t, or won’t for that matter, try and understand mental illness. These are people who are going to do no good for you. Having the existential fear of losing loved ones is scary, but those who are willing to put in the effort to understand and stay by your side, are the type of people you need in your life. Remember, you have to do whats best for you and your mental health.

What if my mental state deteriorates?

There could be a potential for your mental state to deteriorate from time to time. The best advice is to not panic. It doesn’t make you less of a person, and if you put in the effort, you can make your ultimate come back. I’ve been in instances where I mentally declined. It was scary and I freaked out thinking this is it. This is how my life will be like. My mistake was letting myself believe that I couldn’t rebound from this. Like I said, I put in the effort, tried my hardest and slowly but sure I started to get better. You’re going to have ups and downs, everyone does, and yes, they can be scary but keep focusing on the good and don’t dwell on the bad. Dwelling on the potential of having a little bit of a downturn isn’t going to help anyone.

What if i’m newly diagnosed and don’t know how to cope?

Coping with a mental illness can be difficult, and scary. At first, I had virtually no coping mechanisms for schizoaffective disorder and it was terrifying. I kept thinking what do I do when I’m hallucinating? or having a delusion? Because I didn’t have any idea other than freak out when I was first presenting symptoms. Over time you will pick up tips and tricks. You will find your few things that will help you deal with what you’re going through. I believe, initially everyone is going to go through the scary side of their mental illness because you are not prepared for whats to come. This is natural and it takes a little bit of dedication and learning from your experiences to begin feel a bit more comfortable.

How Do i Battle Intrusive thoughts?

This is an incredibly difficult one. Everyone has different intrusive thoughts. These can be puzzling for some people to wrap their heads around and they can be hard to combat. Using any and all coping mechanisms that you have, can be a great help. Intrusive thoughts are just as it says in the name. They try to take over your mind and sometimes, despite your best efforts, they keep pushing and weaselling their way in from time to time.  Never give into them. Use your coping and grounding mechanisms to the best of your abilities and always keep in mind, they will go away.

I hope these tips and tricks help someone, and highlight how scary mental illness can be, but mainly show how manageable it can be. It may be scary but it’s nothing you can’t handle!

Thanks for reading!

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