I have had the privilege of growing up in a fairly safe and comfortable position in life. My family has never had financial hardship to the extent of relying solely on governmental help, both of my parents are very open about how much they love and care for my brothers and me, I’ve never been horribly bullied, physically abused or raped. I’ve gotten good grades and was on the “fast track” all through middle and high school.
However, despite all of the amazing opportunities that I have had in my life, I was diagnosed with both depression and anxiety disorders, have been suicidal and have self-harmed through most of the last seven years of my life.
In my junior year of high school, I started seeing a therapist because my parents discovered what I had been doing to myself, and we decided that it was a good positive step to take to recovery.
The first time I met with the therapist, I found myself trying to justify my depression to her. I may have even stretched the truth on some situations to make them seem worse than they really were, and even then they didn’t seem “bad enough” to justify my depression and self-harm.
For years, even after I stopped seeing a therapist, any time I would talk to someone about my mental illnesses, I felt the need to justify them. I would bring up things that had happened years ago to explain break downs that were completely unrelated because saying that my cousin called me fat, ugly, worthless and unlovable sounded better than saying, “I’ve been alone and staring at my wall for three hours and now I’m having a break down and crying so hard I can barely breathe.”
Fairly recently I have started to come to terms with something that I think anyone with a mental illness or anyone who knows a person with a mental illness needs to know: mental illnesses don’t care who you are. They don’t care if you’re a guy, a girl, or neither. They don’t care if you’re gay, straight, or in between. They don’t care if you’ve lived off of food stamps and unemployment checks or if your family has never had to struggle to make ends meet. They don’t care if you’ve been abused or not. Mental illnesses don’t care, and they will take down whomever they want—regardless of what your situation is.
If you are struggling with a mental illness, whether it can be justified by your situation or not, you deserve to have help, and you deserve to be loved.