Will, I ever become well or like my husband says improve? I’m lost today – there is absolute blankness. When I talk about being blank, I am actually referring to my thoughts. How is it that I am numb to feeling emotions right now when all my brain does is confuse me with thoughts. Let’s be clear – negative thoughts. I’m not able to think about memories that usually never leave my mind. My usual behaviour comes from my brain not letting me rest even for a single minute. It makes me experience depression for brief episodes when I recall instances of my abuse. My mind makes me feel anxious when I believe my brain - telling me that my family and friends are going to leave me. And, I am elated for the time left that I survived another day without breaking down.

What sort of life am I living in? People have real problems like financial issues, job difficulties. Look at me, I am struggling to feel genuinely happy. Today, during my shower I thought to myself – “what if my husband leaves me?” This was certainly not a single thought. It was the start to the chain of thoughts – “will I ever be able to trust anyone?”, “Does anyone love me the way I am?” and “I can’t tell anyone how I feel!”

One minute there are so many thoughts and the next minute – I’m lost. My legs are shaking, and I’m trying hard to hold onto the last thought before my mind goes blank again. I’ve always told everyone how I fear abandonment. It isn’t just physical. No! Not if my husband left our marriage but what if he emotionally distances from me. What if my parents don’t love me? What if I am not good enough for any of my friends?

Isn’t it strange to feel so much and then feel nothing? My world is so black and white in thought – either you love me or you don’t. And then, I oddly feel a rollercoaster of emotions every minute. It is like feeling a different emotion every hour. Life may become static, not my mood!

The heart is beating faster, eyes are watery, and I can only think of expressing myself as lonely. Loneliness isn’t feeling left alone by others. I’m talking about the loneliness where one feels distant from within. When you’re not connected to your own mind and body, you will surely feel lonely on the outside. It is not just people and their absence which makes me feel lonely. My mind is so cluttered and de-cluttering it requires effort during which I experience breakdowns and dramatic display of emotions.

You know what – “I’m really tired of trying to improve. Maybe it’s okay if my husband leaves me and parents don’t love me. I can deal with the abandonment & loneliness. I am okay if I’m not good enough… I’m depressed, anxious, & crazy; just not normal like others”

#mentalhealth #mentalwellbeing #happiness #mentalillness #mentaldisorder #thoughts #borderlinepersonalitydisorder #loneliness

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  • Sanjoni

From obesity to reaching a healthy body, it takes effort to change one’s lifestyle. Living with a mental health condition and living with a person with a mental health condition requires the same – change in lifestyle.

“It feels like I am a burden onto my family. If I wasn’t around, this world would have been a better place today.”

People think she doesn’t know that self-harm is not the best choice. People explain to her that anger is threatening to them. And, people around her think that crying and feeling sorry the next minute is childlike. Here is the thing – mental illness does not have a rule book to behave. People with mental health conditions know that self-harm is a bad thing, their anger is erratic, and feeling emotions unpredictably is stressing.

What does society think by talking about mental health? we are reaching a solution. The answer is no. Live with a person with a mental health condition and you’ll know their families suffer with them. Cutting herself is not a choice, screaming and yelling is painful, and feeling emotional unpredictability is tiring. Before your family and friends tell you that you’re a version which they hate, you should know this– people with a mental health condition hate the version of themselves which is so overwhelming.

It reaches out to their family and friends, so it definitely kills the person living with it. To ask a person who was sexually molested to get over it is not the answer to their mental wellbeing. To push a person to a corner who admits they’re suffering is not the process of correcting their behavior. People with mental health conditions don’t hurt themselves so they can put their loved one’s behind bars. Instead, they’re broken inside to deal with another suffering.

Imagine a child witnessing sexual abuse. The same child grows up to experience physical and emotional abuse. No! people with mental health conditions are not dramatic. They are not trying to abuse others. They are not manipulative. They are people who are trying to make peace with situations of their lives that have shaped them to become this. With a lack of consent in sexual harassment comes immense helplessness. This helplessness turns into anger in every other situation.

She would change her lifestyle and the illness wouldn’t go and that’s when the family doesn’t understand – She wished it was like fat in the body that changes in routine could reduce it to any shape or size she’d love. It’s an illness that the person who has it hates more than you can think.

Believe me – if you saw her the way she saw herself, you’d never want to see her again. She saw herself as the problem… this society could never change!

#mentalhealth #mentalillness #thoughts #suicide #familysupport #problem

Updated: Aug 8

1. Acknowledge the condition

Sometimes we tend to overlook the situation and the feelings of a person. We try to normalize the particular situation either by comparing it to a worse probable condition or generalizing it. In either of these conditions, we are ignoring the person. For example, if your friend tells you that they’re experiencing insomnia, our usual reply is to tell them when we faced it. Instead, we can nod and tell them to further talk about it.

“Stop asking them to try harder, they’re already trying a lot”

2. Active listening, Avoid Advising

It is a normal reaction to respond immediately to our loved ones’ needs. But, there are times when we should be active listeners, and not just hear their story. You can be alert and aware when your loved one is sharing about their problem. We tend to provide solutions to fix them, maybe we need to just give them a space to share their feelings safely. They probably know what to do, they find it difficult to do the task. Therefore, listening to them with attention is the best you can do.

P.S – listen to them, it can’t turn into an argument.

“Avoid unsolicited advice, instead hear me out”

3. Make your presence felt or space out

Everyone has a different way of dealing with their emotions and problems. Some people feel they want to be left out. Others, want someone to be around them when they experience a mental breakdown. So don’t assume that it is best to leave or force yourself to stay. Instead, ask what would they prefer and with the time you’ll discover how to support them. Sometimes people want to be in a space of their own that doesn’t mean they don’t want your presence to be felt. It’s tough but you got to strike a balance. For example, leaving a person for the full day alone in the house is risky and sends out negative messages. Maybe checking on them later or dropping a text would allow them to feel your presence.

“It's better to ask – how can I support you?”

4. Unnoticeable Things

There is the day to day conversations and affairs, which might trouble them. It doesn’t have to be someone’s fault to feel low when suffering from a mental health condition. For example, an insensitive comment or things not going as planned can create irritability. Allow the person to display negative emotions. They’re a part of emotional care.

“Anger should be acknowledged only then it will be dealt with”

5. Confusion creates conflict - #3Cs

Yes, confusing conversations, mixed messages, and sudden changes create chaos in their troubled mind. For example, if they like to be alone and a guest arrives at home, be considerate enough to give them some breather. Don’t force and push, give them time to accommodate.

“Let them decide what to do for once”

6. Reassure them you’re there

Remember, giving advice is different from reassuring the person that you’re there for them. You can drop a text message, leave a handwritten note, check for food, and remind them when they’re in doubt that you’re going to be there for them in the darkness.

“Reassurance does miracle but needs you to be patient”

7. Maintain Healthy Boundaries

In every role and relationship, it is very important to maintain healthy boundaries. Neither should you come across as imposing to another person nor should you feel unavailable. Extremes of anything isn’t good for anyone’s health. You need to know when to time-out and time-in for the relationship to last longer and stay healthy.

“Every relation has a do’s and don’ts list”

8. Encourage and Save

When there is a mental health condition, encourage the person to seek help professionally. You can only do as much as possible. You can ask the person and accompany them to a therapist. If you find the person self-harming, try to keep them away from easy access to such resources. It is important to understand the reason for self-harm and acknowledge their pain again and again. Allow them to vent so they don’t need to self-harm.

“Venting will only take place when they feel safe to share”

9. It’s not a Blame-Game

Keep in mind that they’re already struggling and somewhere deep down blaming themselves for feeling this way. The best you can do is avoid blaming them. For example, avoid comments - you’re pretending to feel this way; because of you the house is always in a mess; put your act together because it’s torturous to be with you. Let’s accept them!

“self-blaming does a lot of damage, don’t add to the list”

10. Acceptance

Acceptance can happen at any level. It takes a long time to heal and a part of it is self-acceptance. It takes courage to accept and be okay to not be okay. So the best you can do is accept them and see them separate from their condition. Empathy is the key that drives acceptance for others.

“Illness is a small part of them, it doesn’t define them”

11. Able and Capable

Mental illnesses do have an invisible streak to them and it is difficult to judge between when a person can perform the task and when they need to pause. You can still consider them able and capable. Let’s not decide for them. Instead, give them support to help make decisions.

“They’re not disabled, they can decide for themselves”

Caution: This isn’t a replacement for professional help or therapeutic aid. These are general things one can do. It may or may not work for some mental health illnesses. Please note, the intensity, duration, and severity of an illness are important for you to help out. To reach out to a person, please follow these general tips!

#mentalhealth #quicktips #support #mentalwellbeing #family #friends #mentalillness #love #care #help

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