Getting support and care for when you are sick is usually not a problem. Family, friends and loved one will try to help you by making sure that your needs are met. They will try to carry you until you feel better. The same can rarely be said when you are diagnosed with a mental disorder. People with mental disorders, more times than not, feel marginalized, alone and alienated. They feel ashamed of their illness and other make them feel ashamed as well.
Mental disorders are viewed as emotions and thoughts that can be changed by sheer willpower. That all a person needs to do is ‘feel better’ or ‘stop thinking bad things’. Sadly that is not true. Mental disorders are caused by the lack of or the over production of certain chemicals in the bran. This chemical imbalance can be due to genetics, traumatic incidents or trauma related injuries. Thus people can’t just will their severe depression, suicidal ideation, anxiety, eating disorder away by simply being told to ‘stop it.’ I mean, if that were the case then there would be no mental disorders.
For a person with a mental disorder, recovery is a long and hard road. Though therapy and self-care are strong components of that process, so is support from family and friends. Knowing that there is someone willing to listen and be present means the world to someone battling a mental disorder. Having support by loved ones makes them feel witnessed, valued and able to continue their journey.
The same goes for people with mental disorders supporting other people with mental disorders. We are in this together. Even though we may have different diagnoses, different recovery paths and different trauma histories; we all, at some point, have felt the same feelings of alienation and loneliness. Being able to support each other in each other’s journey to recovery means that we strong against a illness of the mind, yet united by that as well. Always keep in mind that someone supported you before you started in your journey, and that you, some day, can be that first lifeline to someone else in need of help.