Mental illness isn’t something that affects the minority, the less well off or the isolated members of society. It is something that can manifest within anyone, and in fact every single individual with their unique personality may show traits of different mental disorders. Do you ever go on a ‘cleaning bender’ or even refer to yourself as ‘a little OCD’, perhaps you have a day where you just feel really down and like you don’t want to see anyone? You may get easily upset or instantly worried or even angry at small things? The difference is that somewhere along the spectrum, these personality traits such as being quite sensitive, emotional, paranoid or anxious build and bundle together along with life events and neurological pathways to form a mental illness, a whole new world and reality for the individual and a new perception of the world and or themselves. The thoughts and behaviours that come with it aren’t just part of a personality type but they become uncontrollable needs, coping mechanisms and ways of life which when deviated from can cause the individual to feel indescribable challenges and distress. Everyone at some point in their lives need a little extra TLC, some support and a helping hand, those with mental illness require exactly this, just a little more of the time. Mental illness is serious, it can isolate you from everyone so you feel like you’re in a lone bubble of no hope, it can destroy and take lives, but in all cases, it’s important to note that everyone deserves the same compassion and care to aid recovery. One in four people are thought to have a mental illness so before you stigmatize and form an opinion of them, just think how similar the two of you may be.
Where are you on the spectrum?