Hi, my name is Eri and I have a complicated relationship with mental health.
I remember having a mental breakdown and talking to my mom about possibly needing to talk to a doctor about being depressed. This was after I had a messy falling out with my ex-friends – in which they had argued with me about mental illness and being insensitive about it. I’m not going to talk about that. The point is that it was at that point where I felt I couldn’t pretend I was okay anymore and had to talk to a professional about it.
We had just came home from a party. I didn’t even take my makeup off yet. I was crying so hard that I could feel my face swelling. It wasn’t pretty. I told my mom that I wanted to talk to someone about it and she told me, simply:
“If there was something wrong with you, I would’ve known by now.”
It was at that point that I stopped talking about possibly going to therapy because I didn’t have enough energy to tell her that “No, mom. You wouldn’t know.”
A few days later, I was getting over the initial anger and sadness that friendship breakup brought. My feelings of depression were easing up on me. My mom then says “See, you’re not sick. You’re already feeling better now.” Cue that sinking feeling in my gut.
As much as possible, I try not to label my feelings as depression or anxiety – in case I offend someone by “self-diagnosing” my feelings as a mental illness.
I try to not use terms that people with diagnosed mental illnesses use, like triggered, so that it doesn’t become something people use lightly.
I do my best to be there for people who are struggling with their illnesses, listening to their problems/feelings and being there for them when they need me.
I try to pinpoint the source of my stress/discomfort whenever I feel like I’m getting really sad again or really anxious for no reason. I make the conscious effort to understand where these emotions are coming from and how they affect me.
And honestly, it’s exhausting sometimes. Should it be this exhausting?
I’ve never been to a doctor for my mental health because:
a) it’s not cheap to go to a doctor
b) I’ve always told myself that I’m ill enough to go to therapy vs other people
c) I feel that my family isn’t open to the thought of mental health because see A
d) there’s a widely perpetuated stigma against mental illness where I’m from.
I used to feel 100% scared at the thought of taking medication for mental health because well, those things aren’t cheap. Which is why I have hesitations to go to a doctor. The fear is still there, not gonna lie but it’s reduced significantly from before.
I honestly just want someone to talk to about all these feelings and to understand myself better without feeling so drained when I do try.
That’s basically it.
If this doesn’t explain my complicated relationship with mental health, I don’t know what will.