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What If These Mental Illnesses Were Your Friends?

Here’s what it’s like to be friends with your mental illness.

TRIGGER WARNING: This post deals with sensitive content related to mental health.

Unlike other corporeal conditions, mental illnesses cannot be detected by just looking or even by having a short conversation with someone suffering from it. People living with illnesses like depression and anxiety become experts at hiding the true nature and extent of the disease over time. They become familiar with their illness — an intimate, secret relationship with no happy ending. Because mental illnesses make terrible friends. Here’s a look at what it would be like to have mental illnesses as your tangible friends.

Depression

Depression is one of the most complex mental conditions, and the easiest one to hide. People with depression don’t necessarily spend all of their time brooding and crying. Depression comes in waves and hits you hardest when you’re already low. It stays with you on quiet nights and feeds on your insecurities.

Social Anxiety

Social anxiety or Social Anxiety Disorder turns even the smallest of social interactions into a crippling feat. This disease tells you every day of your life that you’re not like other humans, that you’re an outsider, an alien. It’s a selfish illness that wants you all to itself, ultimately coercing you into a dark and endless cavity in your mind.

General Anxiety Disorder

General anxiety disorder is different from having fleeting anxiety related to a situation or feeling anxious about something. Isabella Mitchel, in this article about GAD says “I often feel like I’m not in control of my emotions, and when my anxiety is bad it affects every part of my life.” It’s the friend that pops up every few days to wreak havoc in your life.

Eating Disorders

An eating disorder is a complex psychological illness that often comes with negative or dangerous physical consequences. Unlike other mental illnesses, eating disorders leave behind physical lmanifestations of the damage they do. They’re like the friend that pretends to comfort or console you in your time of need while repeatedly stabbing you in the back.

 

Mental illnesses are not your friends. If you or someone you know is going through something difficult, don’t be afraid to get help. 


[Editor’s note: Everyone has their own experience with mental illness. This post just demonstrates how certain mental illnesses can fester in your life like a toxic friendship.]

ALSO READ: Depression Is Not Your Reality

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