Mental Illness is Selfish

I must confess that mental illness is a selfish bitch.

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I have a mental illness.  I have been struggling with mental health related issues for the last 11 years.  There is a good chance that many of them I will continue to struggle with for the rest of my life unless I remember to take good care of my mental wellness.  I have a mental illness.  I am not defined by my mental illness.  I am a mother, daughter, sister, friend.  I am not Depression or Borderline Personality Disorder.

Mental illness is selfish. Mental illness doesn’t care that you have a family.  It doesn’t care that you have a career.  It doesn’t care that you have friends.

Depression doesn’t care that you are a good person.  Depression is a lying cow, who will have you believe the words you tell yourself.  Depression doesn’t care that people don’t understand you.  It doesn’t care that your life is turning to shit.  Depression is not your friend.  It lays it’s blanket of darkness over you, until the only thing you can see is darkness.  Depression so much that you believe you are no longer worth something.  Depression would rather see you dead.

Mental Illness is selfish.  It doesn’t care that your family are at their breaking point.  It does not care that you have children to take care of.  Mental illness consumes you until it’s hard to determine where it ends and you begin.  You are so much more than a series of symptoms.  You are more than the mental illness.  You are a person, not an illness.

Mental Illness is selfish but we are not.  Having a mental illness means that we may need to take time out from people more often.  It may mean that some days we just need a day in bed.  Having a mental illness does not make us bad people.  It just means that we are in need of a little more careful handling.

Mental Illness is selfish but we really wish it wasn’t.  We need your love.  We need your care and we hope that when we push that you’ll push right on back.  We hope that while building our towers of loneliness that someone out there will help us to take the bricks down.

I have a Mental Illness.  I am not a Mental Illness.

Linking up with Kirsty at My Home Truths

12 thoughts on “Mental Illness is Selfish

  1. Kirsty @ My Home Truths

    I love this post Tegan. So well written and true – a real glimpse into what it is really like to struggle with mental illness. I especially like the lines “you are more than a series of symptoms” and “I have a mental illness. I am not a mental illness”. Thanks for sharing this – I’ll be sharing this wider too x

  2. Chantell

    I loved your honesty in this post…It is very true ~ mental illness strikes whoever and whenever it feels like…It doesn’t discriminate, and can knock you down like a ton of bricks even when you feel like life is actually going pretty well for a change….I love the way you expressed that you are not defined y your mental illness, that you are more than just a set of symptoms…That is such a show of strength! And it is something that society needs to be more aware of…It is very easy to describe another person as ‘the girl who has bipolar’, but never do we say ‘the girl with high blood pressure’….Nobody should be described simply by their condition ♥

  3. Rhonda

    Great post and I don’t think many people know how much their negative actions can make those with a mental illness suffer even more. I used to work at a mental health organisation and it was heartbreaking to see that some families would ‘dump’ their adult children there, for example, and never visit them nor play an active role in their recovery journey.

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  5. Hugzilla

    Fantastic post Tegan, and I really admire the pragmatic, no-holds-barred honesty you bring to the discussion table. No fluff, no beating around the bush – this is unashamedly how it is.


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