30 Things About Mental Health Almost Everyone Gets Wrong

30 Things About Mental Health Almost Everyone Gets Wrong

Ask Reddit wants to clear up a few things about mental health.

1. That depression only makes you sad. There is a myriad of other feelings and physical symptoms.

2. Schizophrenics don’t always hear voices. With mine, I hear people trying to break down my door, trying to open my windows, and movement under my house.

3. OCD is not about being tidy and clean. It involves rescuing, intrusive thoughts, and obsessively cleaning is just one of the OCD-related compilations. It can seriously fuck up someone’s life. An example would be turning a light switch on and off 30 times once entering a room or you fear something terrible will happen if you don’t. It really annoys me when someone calls themselves OCD because they like a clean kitchen.

4. Most people with PTSD and/or CPTSD haven’t been in the military or a warzone.

5. Mood/anxiety disorders do not need an objective reason for occurring – you don’t need to have a shit life to be depressed or to be at any actual risk of something bad happening in order to have anxiety. They can just happen randomly or in connection to things that happened far in the past. Therefore, the common notions that someone is ungrateful for being depressed or having anxiety or that they’re faking it because they “have no reason” to suffer from them is absolutely flawed and the attempt at “fixing” them by pointing out the good things in somebody’s life is futile and antagonizing.

6. It’s incorrect that eating disorders are a vanity thing.

7. Not everyone with Tourette syndrome randomly yells out obscenities.

8. That autism is a condition exclusive to boys. The truth is autistic women and girls are extremely under-diagnosed because they learn to camouflage their symptoms early in life.

9. Pretty much everything about ADHD.

No, we don’t need to just try harder.

No, we’re not lazy.

No, we don’t need (yuk) discipline.

It’s not made up, there are different types of ADHD, and our meds help us cope in an NT world. They’re not cheating.

10. Anxiety isn’t just panic attacks and being afraid of everything to the point of not leaving the house.

It seems like anxiety isn’t taken seriously unless someone is hyperventilating and sobbing and shaking.

Anxiety is your body being in flight or fight mode all the time, for no damn reason, even when your mind is telling you rational things, your body is like LET’S GO, WE GOTTA GO NOW.

I have GAD and never feel at ease or safe, and a lot of things are really hard for me, but I make myself go do things and enjoy life, even when my body is screaming the opposite. It’s exhausting. But because I seem outgoing and calm, no one ever believes me when I talk about my anxiety.

11. That people with schizophrenia are all dangerous and violent. In reality, people with mental illness, including schizophrenia, are far more likely to be victims of violent crime rather than perpetrators of it.

12. It’s not true that people with bipolar switch moods on the dot.

13. You can tell if a person is depressed by looking at them. No, you can’t. Depression doesn’t “have a face.” Depression is laughing at a joke someone made, smiling on the outside and pretending everything is fine. Depression isn’t always being down and sad. I’ve suffered depression most of my life. I still go to work every single day with a smile on my face acting happy and cheery when all I want to do is hide in the corner and die. On the outside, nothing is wrong. On the inside, there’s a fucking war zone with debris and shrapnel flying everywhere with nowhere to hide.

14. Anxiety attacks aren’t always heavy breathing and rocking back and forth.

Sometimes it’s staring at a specific object trying to keep it together and failing miserably in a way no one can see. Sometimes it’s randomly getting snappy and agitated at small things. And sometimes it’s jolting awake in the middle of the night because there’s something pressure in your chest.

15. ADHD isn’t being fidgety and uncontrollable. ADHD is staring at an assignment for hours and never processing what it means. ADHD is overthinking and going into manic episodes every time you receive criticism for the assignments you couldn’t complete because of, you guessed it, your disorder. ADHD is having a million things running through your head and you keep thinking ahead to what you want to say next, to the point where you can’t even form a coherent sentence because you get your words mixed up.

ADHD isn’t a quirky, funny thing. It’s hell.

16. That all people with depression are ALWAYS suicidal. I have extreme depression, but I don’t always feel suicidal. I normally just want to lie down, with a good movie, book, or just to sleep.

17. That everyone is a “little” bipolar. Fuck off, you were sad and happy in the same day.

18. That only skinny girls can have eating disorders. Or that men can’t have them!

19. I hate that people think addicts are weak-willed. Everyone thinks addicts are people that really like a drug or some sort of substance so they do it – this is not the case. They develop a chemical dependency. They (both mentally and physically) feel worse without it. So many people throw around I’m addicted to this and I’m addicted to that – no you just fucking like candy – you aren’t going to feel like you’re dying if you don’t have it.

20. That self-harming is done to just get attention. What a load of shit. Those who have self-harmed will hide their cuts and scars.

21. That people with Borderline Personality Disorder are crazy drama queens that only care about themselves. There are different kinds of BPD. Some of us are introverted and instead of taking up space, we give it all away. We’re all miserable but not always toxic.

22. People with antisocial personality disorder are actually social, talkative, form friendships and relationships, etc. Most of the time they are not “antisocial” at all.

In truth, I don’t think 95% of people understand what antisocial personality disorder is or how it presents.

23. Dyslexic people (like myself) being lazy or not bothering to learn how to do things and I hate it that once in a while you will get something right and then everyone will say after well you can do it, you’re not trying hard enough.

24. People think that borderline personality disorder makes people evil and there’s nothing to be done about it. The actuality is there is an entire type of therapy designed for BPD that is really effective in managing symptoms. People with BPD aren’t monsters.

25. Alzheimer’s is not just slowly and passively forgetting things. There is a middle part where the brain realizes something is up and acts up on its own outside the poor sufferer’s control. It’s as if one side of the brain is desperately trying to break out while the other has no idea what is going on… It’s called “Sundowning”.

26. The assumption that PMDD isn’t real because “most of us have a little PMS” makes me want to scream. Yes, a lot of women have PMS, but most women don’t fall into suicidal despair 10-14 days of the month, every month, since the time they get their periods until the time they hit menopause, do they? Most women don’t know the exact moment they enter their luteal phase because a cloud enters their mind that doesn’t let up until her period starts, and the wreckage left in her path from those 10-14 days a month looks like a million misdiagnoses before a competent psych sits down with you and asks the right questions, right? PMDD is a hell I’d wish only on my worst enemy. I WISH it was just a bad bout of PMS.

27. Addicts are lazy, selfish, don’t care about anyone but themselves, and choose to drink and use. I didn’t know when I was 17 that experimenting with drugs would destroy my life. I never thought, “I can’t wait to do shameful things to keep from withdrawal, hurt the people I love the most, and sabotage everything good in my life.” Certainly, an illness that needs treatment.

28. PTSD/CPTSD victims from sexual assault/childhood molestation don’t always become asexual and completely turned off from sexuality. In a lot of cases, hypersexuality is a result and victims (I speak from experience) try to recreate the trauma in their sex lives. I really wish someone had explained this to me in my youth rather than delegitimizing my obsessive, destructive libido, or just broadly categorizing my illness as “bipolar” or “depression” and not pinning down the specific patterns of behavior and thought that I’d go on to spend years of my adult life trying to heal. Thank god I moved to a really progressive city.

29. I can’t just snap out of it, get over myself, and stop taking meds for anxiety and depression. I’m not weak, lazy, or looking for attention.

30. That you’re condemned to a life of misery.

This goes for a lot of mental illness. Just because life is going to be harder, doesn’t mean it will only be full of unhappiness. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

January Nelson is a writer, editor, and dreamer. She writes about astrology, games, love, relationships, and entertainment. January graduated with an English and Literature degree from Columbia University.