Mental health issues, please don’t judge!
If I have learnt anything during my time struggling with mental health issues it’s – don’t judge!
This may be a slightly strange post to read, maybe strange because you’ve judged someone in a similar way to what I mention, which is fine, we have all done it! Or maybe strange because you may not believe me. You might whole heatedly believe the first thought that crosses your mind, and that’s fine too. I’m not here to point fingers and blame. I’m just hoping that by reading this, reading my experiences you might think again at what you are seeing in front of you.
I’ve honestly learnt a huge lesson. I was always (and sometimes still am) someone who will be sat in the waiting room for the Dr or dentist and create an entire life story for everyone sat around me. Their name, age, what they do for a living, why they are there, why they look a certain way – weird I know – it’s never done out of any malice. It’s just something I’ve always done.
That was until a few years ago. When I was admitted to hospital for my mental health issues and I was surrounded by people that I didn’t know and as strange (and awful) as it sounds, they weren’t the kind of people I ever took the time to get to know. I was brought up with certain assumptions to make of people and I sadly continued to do that throughout my life.
I’ve since changed, quite a bit in fact. I’m not naive and I know sometimes people are exactly what you think but all I’m saying is maybe just to stop, think and give the situation and the person the benefit of the doubt. You never really know what happens behind closed doors.
Based on my experiences these are some examples of how I’ve seen people judged;
Although these are based on my experiences they have been changed in places. Genders may have been swapped, details might have been altered slightly also.
- That girl who is overweight and struggling to walk. She’s a layabout. She’s lazy. If she stopped eating and did some exercise she’d lose weight! Little do you know that she is suffering from a crippling eating disorder. She has done since she was a child when she was bullied mercilessly. Her family teases her and makes fun of her every single day. She’s got no real friends and is deeply sad and lonely.
- That guy with the hoody and jeans on in blistering heat. What a freak! Why can’t he put on a t-shirt and shorts. Emo! Goth! Well, this guy wants nothing more than to wear a t-shirt and shorts but he’s been in such an awful place that he has self harmed. A lot. He has stitches and scars and is embarrassed and ashamed. He’d rather be sweating in this heat than let anyone see any of this and let on that he is struggling!
- The lady in her 40’s slurring her words and losing her balance. She’s definitely a druggy! She’s a drunk. She shouldn’t be allowed out if she’s drinking this time in the morning! What an embarrassment! This poor lady has just been given a diagnosis that is quite serious. She was immediately put on a high dose of medication that hasn’t agreed with her. She is on her own with no family or real friends so she doesn’t even realise she is acting this way.
- That girl with the greasy hair and dirty clothes. What a tramp! Disgusting! Lazy! How can she leave the house like that! This poor girl is deeply depressed. She hates herself. She’s doesn’t see the point in putting in any effort as she has reached the point that she no longer cares. Last week she tried to take her own life, little do you know that she will try again!
- That gay guy chatting at the bar. Typical gay bloke! They’re all the same. Well actually no, they’re not. This guy has recently been through an awful attack. After months of therapy and several attempts on his life he has finally found the confidence to get out of the house and even make some new friends!
- That girl you see who seems like she has it all together. She’s always smiling. She’s organised and on time. She’s always willing to help anyone out. She’s has a beautiful family and roof over her head. She seems like she doesn’t have a care in the world… Little do you know she is tortured by negative thoughts every single day. She plasters on that smile as it’s the only way she knows how to cope. Some days she hates herself. The way she is and the way she looks. Some days she wants to disappear and never come back. There are scars on her body and on her soul but she fights on. Everyday she fights on, the only way she knows how.
This post is something I feel very passionate about. Like I said it’s not about pointing the finger, blaming anyone or giving you a telling off it’s simply a reminder that sometimes you really don’t know what happens behind closed doors.
Be kind, always. You never know what battles people might be facing.
Love Amy xx
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