Mental health is one of those things that people tend to bundle together. People seem to think that all people with a specific mental illness (take depression for example) are treated the same way or react the same way or have the same symptoms.
Well this is false. Every individual’s mental health is unique to them. They have different triggers, different mechanisms that help and react differently to everything. Some people have panic attacks, others just shut down. Sometimes exercises helps, sometimes it can further trigger panic. For some a mix of therapy and medication work great, for others not so much.
One of the most frustrating things about having a mental illness is when somebody says “oh well i know this person with X condition and this worked for them so why doesn’t it work for you?” or “well if said person can go to the concert and they have anxiety then you should be able to handle it too.”
If you are one of these people who have said things like above, do not worry, you are not the first and will not be the last person to say something like that to anyone with anxiety or depression or anything. Just know that it is not true.
The worst part is, that those triggers aren’t always consistent. Some days I can go to a concert and be in the middle of a pack of people with loud noises and bright lights and I am fine, other days, you can barely turn the lamp on in the living room without me cringing away. It sucks.
If you are someone with a mental illness, know that you have the right to defend yourself. If you are not feeling up to something, don’t do it. It is as simple as that (though easier said than done). Your health comes first and in most cases it is NOT worth it to try to power through it and be tough. I know when I do that I always pay for it in panic attacks later.
If you are a friend of someone with anxiety or depression or PTSD, try to remember that your friend already probably feels guilty that they cannot do whatever thing you were supposed to do and be sympathetic. A few kinds words and not feeling pressured to do something goes a long way.
Just always remember that every single person in the entire world is in their own unique mental health situation. Just because you have the same condition as someone or know someone who has gone through a similar situation does not mean that anyone else will react similarly. Mental health is finally coming into the spotlight and working to understand it just moves the world that much further forward toward understanding!