Not That Different

Hello, my name is summer. I am 19 years old. I have blonde hair. I have a great family. I love art and I have a mental illness.

It’s hard for me to separate who I am from my illness so I’m sure it must be extremely difficult for other people to separate. Some people almost take a step back from someone who has a mental illness. Maybe it’s because they “don’t understand it”, they think they “can’t relate to it” or maybe it’s because they can’t separate the person who has the illness from the illness itself. I think we do this because we can’t physically see mental illnesses; it’s not like having a broken leg which we can clearly see and understand. 

The funny thing is we can all relate to it! How many times have you imagined a really bad senario in your head about something-a test, a meeting, or a date? You pictured the worst and got in a panic about it then it actually turned out fine. How many times have you been so down that you just wanted to stay in bed all day? How many times have you gotten worried because you couldn’t remember if you actually locked the door? We all go through these experiences…just some of us go through them daily. If we look at the stigmas attached to mental illness, we see that we can all relate to them. They’re not so scary and weird now, are they?

But what about the people who have these experiences everyday? What about the people who can’t live their lives because of them? Why can’t they just stop worrying about things? Why can’t they just find some motivation? Why do some people have these experiences everyday while others can just dismiss them?

It’s because having these experiences to the extreme is an illness. There is a neurochemical imbalance that makes it nearly impossible for these people to prevent these experiences. These people cannot “just get over it” on their own because they have no control over them.

We are not all that different from each other.

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