Trigger Warning: Abuse, and Attempted Suicide.
I know I am loved, I know I am safe, I have food, heat (my house only has one working heater and I pay £60 a week on electricity during winter), support, and I live in a country with free healthcare. I went to university for free, I don’t have to pay for my prescriptions, I have a pet, a partner, I take the time to do what I love, and I know more than anyone that people are worse off than I am.
- I can’t just snap out of depression
- I can’t just snap out of anxiety
- I can’t just snap out of PTSD
- I can’t just snap out of panic attacks
- I can’t just snap out of flashback
Sorry to be the one to tell you (the hypothetical person who thinks mental illness is a way to gain disability) but mental illness can’t just be snapped out of because I have a good life. I’ve had anxiety since I was a young child, I’ve had depression ever since I was a young teen, I’ve had undiagnosed PTSD since I got out an abusive relationship if I could snap out of it don’t you think I would have by now?
You don’t think I’ve tried to just snap out of it? I have many times, tried to bury it down, if you saw me you might not even realise I had a problem until you tried to talk to me, but even then you might not even notice the sheer terror in my eyes, all because I pushed it all down due to society making me feel like crap about not being able to snap out of it.
Trying to snap out of it has made everything worse, if I didn’t listen to people like you when I was younger it would not have made my mental health worse off. If you have a broken leg can you walk on it? If you were in an accident could you just get up and walk it off? No, because you need to go to the hospital and get it taken care of.
Just because you can’t see it doesn’t mean it can’t be spoken about, I tried to kill myself when I got out of an abusive relationship, because people would tell me to stop talking about it. I understand this tactic can work for people who have a healthy brain, but even then if anyone has gone through something traumatic the best thing to do is talk it through.
I hid my abuse inside for the longest time, I told my partner about it a few months after we got together, but I never got into specifics about it because I was scared to talk about it, and he still doesn’t really know the entire extent of it. Just learning last year that my abuser tried to kill me with a knife and physically held me under water.
Silence strengthens our mental illness, silence goes hand in hand with shame, shame breeds hate, hate breeds fear, and we start blaming ourselves for not being, “normal.” Why can’t we instead add a little understanding? “I understand that you’re having a hard time,” sounds way better, and it might even save lives.