Posted by: mydarkestplaces | November 23, 2013

I refuse to believe I’m “mentally weak”

So, here it goes. A friend of mine, a man I was close friends with in college, put up a Lifehack post on the Book of Face about “13 Things Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” Included on the list are things like “they don’t dwell on the past,” “they don’t fear alone time,” “they don’t waste energy on things they can’t control,” and, really, the list goes on –at least for another nine bullet points.

I have a few points of my own to bring up about this woman’s list of things that “Mentally Strong People Don’t Do.” My first observation is that she is obviously a woman that doesn’t suffer from major (maybe any) mental health issues. If she did, she would recognize that sometimes, when chemicals are misfiring in our brains, we can’t help what we feel.

I’m a fairly bright individual, I recognize that my life is some kind of cushy. I have friends and family that support me, love me, take care of me and yell at me (if that’s what I need). But when I’m in a low spot, it doesn’t matter how often I hear it or how often friends and family say it – I don’t feel it. In fact, I’m incapable of feeling it and certainly don’t feel I deserve it.

She also sets up this list as thirteen dichotomous points thereby not helping anyone, anywhere. “If you feel sorry for yourself, you’re not mentally strong”; “if you’re afraid of being alone, you’re not mentally strong” – you get the point. Here’s the thing with mental health issues, they’re not something a person can will out of existence.

There are enough stigmas associated with mental health issues, do we really have to stigmatize them even further? People don’t choose to be depressed, AD(H)D or suffer anxiety. It’s insulting to imply that if you find yourself doing any of the things on the list (as opposed to not doing them) that you are mentally weak. Because trust me, when I think back to all the times I didn’t commit suicide, didn’t self-harm, didn’t give up – despite how badly I’ve wanted to – I don’t see myself as mentally weak. So far, I’ve successfully beaten it back, and that makes me mentally strong, but feeling the feelings to begin with doesn’t make me weak.

 

 

 


Responses

  1. Amen.


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