There is a stigma around mental health.
There always have been. When someone’s depressed, they tend to struggle with exhaustion on a regular basis and sleep for twelve hours at a time. When someone hears that, they don’t think, “Oh, no, what must they be going through?”, they immediately think, “What kind of lazy bum are they?”
And if it’s something like depression, or anxiety, or OCD, or anything like that, people will immediately side with the people mocking the individuals with mental illnesses rather than side with them.
It becomes even harder to manage when you’re in a relationship with someone with mental health issues.
For example, the current viral case of Callie Amelia Theodore and her sweetheart of a boyfriend, Chris Briggs.
Callie suffers from anxiety. That means she overthinks constantly, creates problematic scenarios in her head that have no justification, which ends in arguments and fighting. It can cause a real strain on a relationship.
But on the same straw, the tiniest things cause people with anxiety the most relief. If they don’t want to talk to the cashier because they’re nervous they might say something stupid; they will think the world of the person who handles the exchange for them. It’s such a minor thing, right? But they think the world of it.
Recently, Callie made a Facebook post that went viral, spurred on simply by her boyfriend texting her four little words to her question.
She asked if they were okay.
She starts her post by quoting something from Thought Catalog:
Her post can be found here.
And Chris Briggs also has experience with people with mental health problems. In the video he made, he shows understanding and great empathy towards people who have this daily struggle. Briggs discusses the suicide of a local meteorologist who was always seen as happy, citing this case as evidence that everyone has battles other people have no idea about.
Briggs emphasizes that depression isn’t logical
It’s not just one off day you’re having. It’s a series of difficult ordeals that you battle with daily. It doesn’t discriminate, it doesn’t have a right or wrong. It just is, and it affects all of us, young or old, male or female, rich or poor.
He stresses the need for support groups and to remove the stigma around mental health. That way, people who are dealing with these demons, as Briggs eloquently puts, can find solace in the society that ought to be giving them some shoulder to lean on anyway.
To anyone who has anxiety and has had strained relationships in the past, please recall the last words Callie put in her Facebook post.
You have anxiety. Anxiety doesn’t have you.