When you live with mental ill-health every day, it can affect many different aspects of your life. People might think that you just feel unwell or a bit down, but it can reach much further than that and can make tasks that you would normally do without thinking an insurmountable challenge. If you have lived with a mental condition for any length of time it can be easy to forget what life was like before. It can also be difficult to explain to other people so hopefully this article can help others understand a bit better what we are going through and make us feel less like it’s just us.
Getting out of bed
It’s not the way you would want to start the day but if you are filled with panic and anxiety as soon as the day starts, it can make it impossible to get out of bed. Depression can strip you of any motivation and making the effort of moving can be a challenge. It’s not unusual to want to surround yourself with the duvet and hope everything outside goes away.
If you are struggling with your body image or confidence, then getting ready can be a difficult task. Trying to avoid mirrors and seeing yourself can be hard as can getting a shower or a wash when you don’t want to see how you look. It can be hard to cope with seeing yourself and confronting the feeling that are there, especially when you don’t look or feel your best. The same goes for getting dressed as finding something you are happy with is an impossible task as nothing will make you feel happy.
Leaving the house
If you’ve managed to get ready to go out, the next step is to get out of the house which can fill you with anxiety and dread. This can leave you mainly housebound as the front door acts as a barrier between us and the outside world. You have to have the energy to break through to get out into the outside world.
Time alone can lead to many things, like over-thinking or intrusive thoughts that can make you feel worse. When you’re alone you are confronted by thoughts and feelings that you have been distracted from and that can take your brain to scary place and even make you feel suicidal if you feel like you’ve run out of options for coping with how you feel. If you do feel like that, there are places to go for help and if you don’t feel safe being alone, let loved ones know and try to manage your alone time.
Being around people
It’s one of the ironies of mental ill-health that you don’t want to be alone and being around people can be just as difficult. It can be a challenge dealing with other people and having them in your personal space. It can also be difficult to concentrate during conversations and take in what people are saying which makes any social interaction difficult. It can also lead to sensory overload, but we tend to act as though everything is ok as we don’t want to discuss our mental health.
Interacting with friends
It can be hard to find the energy to see friends and we often prioritise the essentials like holding down a job when it comes to our energy expenditure. If we’re feeling particularly low on energy, going out might be a push too far. Replying to messages is difficult if you don’t know what you want to say and it can be overwhelming to try and put how you feel into words. There is also the pressure to reply and the thought that if you don’t then your friends might stop getting in touch all together. It can also be difficult to support your friends when we’re struggling as you can’t give what you don’t have and this can make us feel guilty or like a burden.
Looking after our physical health
It can be hard to eat well, exercise and find time to look after your wellbeing at the best of times so when you are not motivated and have no energy, it can be almost impossible. We have written in the past about how you can try and eat better, and exercise so have a look at those blogs if you think they might help. Being anxious about going to the gym or attending appointments can also make looking after yourself difficult as can the feeling or not being worth it.
We all deserve kindness and support so please feel free to share this post. There is a high chance that someone you know might be struggling with something that you are unaware of. There are many people who hide their mental illness from those around them so if you think this could help someone then please pass it on.