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  • Writer's pictureErin Kay Feldmeyer

Mental Health Is Not A Joke

The worst part about having a mental illness is people expect you to behave as if you don’t.

It’s time to normalize mental health. Sometimes it feels like I have to hide my anxiety & depression from people because they don’t understand it. Mental illness isn’t just extreme cases of bipolar, narcissistic personality disorder, or schizophrenia, it’s also anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder. You’re not a nut case if you suffer from any of these, and some require more help than others. I suffer from extreme anxiety and mild depression. These can look different to everyone. To me, anxiety and depression looks like isolation, cancelling plans, days without showers, mountains of laundry, long periods of sleep, no eating, ignoring phone calls/texts, and procrastinating on essential work. It can be quite debilitating. Panic attacks feel like a clenched hand around my throat coupled with uncontrollable crying.

I often try to hide my anxiety, especially at events or large social gatherings. I feel like I am wearing a mask of a more confident version of my self, which isn’t hard due to my many years in customer service/sales. But, you know what? It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to feel sad or anxious. It’s up to us to speak out or find help. Check up on your happy friends, because often times they’re wearing masks too.

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