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People Reveal What They Wish Others Knew About Their Mental Illness

Mental illnesses affect millions of people and manifest in ways that are unique to the individual. But in all cases, it is not a choice, nor can it just be willed away. The stigma persists, especially for people with PTSD or ADHD, which are often chastized as fake disorders.

Cjborange asked Redditors with mental illnesses: What do you wish people knew about mental illness?

Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.

10. Please stop doing this.

That depression isn't just being sad, and that you can't fix anxiety by not thinking like that.


The way I like to put it is like this. Think about depression like you would think about cancer. It can happen to anyone. Which is why you could see someone with a great life and that person could still depressed. Because just like cancer the disease doesn't care who you are, it will come for you just the same.


Not only is the anxiety advice terrible advice, it doesn't even work if you do manage to do it.

See I spent decades thinking I didn't have anxiety issues because I could "just not think like that" - by being focused on thinking about other things and pushing that anxiety to the back of my mind.

Sure I wasn't actively thinking about it but it still sat there in the back of my head eating at me and twisting my stomach up in knots and upping my stress levels etc. I had all the symptoms of anxiety, just didn't recognize it as such. I'd learned to turn away from the anxious thoughts, but that's not the same as turning them OFF. And fixing it isn't turning them off, but turning them AROUND.

Learning to confront that anxiety face to face, and actually handle the things I'm anxious about instead of doing everything I can to avoid them, and taking medication that helps ease that process, has made me much less ACTUALLY anxious. It's still very much a problem and probably will be for a long time yet, but it's one I'm learning to manage, one day at a time.


9. *Folds arms, blinks* ah that's better.

You can't just "snap out of it."


"It's all in your head!!" Uh, YEAH. That's the point.


It's called a "mental illness," where else should it be if not "all in my head?" Up my @ss, I guess?

Next time my @sshole dad b!tches about my mental health, I'll be sure to tell him that he should stop b!tching about his alcoholism-induced symptoms because "it's all in his liver."


Actually, with things like depression and other illnesses caused by neurotransmitter imbalances, the effects are felt throughout the body, not just in the head. That's why Irritable Bowel Syndrome can be a symptom of depression.


8. Actually, we have superpowers.

Mental illness isn't like TV. Most people with a mental illness aren't babbling nonsense or talking to themselves, or psycho killers, or having conversations with their multiple personalities. By and large, mental illness is invisible to the every day public. Chances are, you are friends with someone who has a mental illness, and you don't even know.


Yep, we aren't all violent and evil and being portrayed as such is incredibly harmful to us as a community. And you don't have to be mentally ill to do harmful things, shockingly enough. Armchair diagnosing every killer or domestic abuser as mentally ill is massively unhelpful to those of us dealing with mental illnesses, please don't do it.


We also aren't all hopeless romantics, misunderstood artists or "manic pixie dream" people. We aren't one "great romantic love" away from being healed and saved by someone. Mental illness doesn't make you interesting. It isn't a part of your personality. It doesn't give you talent and it doesn't make you brilliant. There is no one big great "aha, I finally feel great now" moment.

You kind of just wish you didn't feel that way everyday and you realize it makes you self-destruct and torture yourself and others around you but you're resigned to not doing anything about it.


7. Mental illness is frustrating af.

That we're aware of how we act, are annoyed/frustrated by the condition as much, if not more, than they are, and that dealing with it secondhand in no way compares to living it so having a little empathy goes a long way


Exactly. I always hear the John Mulaney driving rant, repurposed. "I hear you. I also do not want to be doing what I'm doing. I sure would like to stop."


This right here. You think I'm okay with the fact that I can't make myself do the things I want to do. Don't you think that if I could just shrug off the screaming cacophony, I wouldn't do so without you f*ckin' pointing that out?

"Oh, sh*t, you mean I can just turn that sh*t off... Well, why didn't I think of that, golly mister, you sure are smart!"


Who DOESN'T want to go through a cycle of lashing out -> apologizing -> lashing out -> repeat? It's just so goddamn fun and a great way to form and maintain long lasting friendships


6. It's a lot of work to appear "normal."

We try like hell to hide it. Just because we slipped and you saw the truth does NOT mean its a new aspect of our existence.


I find that any new person I meet I tell almost immediately so they get it (for me). I kinda just flash it to them and like "yo it's a me, ADD!" and they're like "ah nice ok". I mean, it is part of me, so I figured (my personal preference) I'd get it out of the way. F*cks up my life in a number of ways, but I try to be open about stuff to people firsthand.


5. Chronic physical illness and pain, like I had with colitis, led to my PTSD.

PTSD isn't always from war.


On the internet it's way more likely that people assume it's from abuse.

Mine isn't from either one. I never get sent to resources for veterans. I have been sent to resources for abuse plenty of times even when I clarified before what it's from.

People, don't assume anything.


And on a sidenote, if we open up about it, we might not be ready to tell you what it's from. What, am I supposed to tell to a near-stranger about my trauma? nah dude.

Edit: I have shared my trauma with strangers online, but that's way less emotionally taxing than talking in person. Just felt like I needed to clarify so I don't seem like a hypocrite.


Adding onto that, trauma's not a competition.


4. Mental illnesses often have physical manifestations.

Some mental illnesses can have physical symptoms. Migraines, stomach issues, fainting, and these are just a few. So no, it's not "all in my head."


"All in your head" God, that phrase pisses me off. Our brain is literally who we are. Everything else is just systems to keep it alive. "In our head" is the most important part of the human body. It's like saying "Oh, can't walk? Pshh. Quit being so dramatic. It's all in your legs."


Word. People think of brains as some mystical black box where who-knows-what happens and thoughts come out. It's literally a machine made of moving parts. Like any other complex machine, it has specialized parts that carry out specific tasks.

If your friend's car breaks down would just say "ah suck it up and drive, it's all in your engine!"


3. It's a symptom of a bigger problem - our culture.

ADHD is like the diabetes of mental illness. It can be managed with discipline and/or meds. But it can also wreck your life.


It's hard, even with medication I struggle with it. Work piles up and sometimes I can handle it and sometimes it's just too much and my brain checks out.


One thing that many people with ADHD have is rejection sensitivity disphoria and it's not commonly known, but along with all of the problems ADHD can cause the person suffering from Rejection Sensitivity Disphoria may be feeling alone and always wondering what they've done wrong to people, so even just randomly texting good morning can make someone's day and make then more motivated to do what they have to do which will in turn improve somebody's life


2. No one chooses it.

That mental illnesses actually exist, and I'm not just making this sh*t up. It's amazing how many people who have never personally had to deal with, or don't know any people who have dealt with mental illness that just believe any mental illness can be summed up to not "sucking it up". They don't realize how badly I wish I could. How much I wish I could wake up in the morning and just be ok. How much I don't want to have negative and anxious thoughts.

They have no clue how hard it is to wake up some days when literally all I want to do is stay in bed and sleep. They were not there when I sat up all night seriously thinking about ending my life just so I don't have to deal with this anymore. I also wish they'd know how grateful they should feel for never having to put up with something that constantly consumes their thoughts and effects their actions daily. "Sucking it up" isn't always an option, learning to understand and support people who suffer from mental illness is. It's truly not hard to have just a little empathy.


1. Trying to maintain control is a daily struggle.

How hard it is to not spiral into an awful black pit when the depression kicks in. I failed at holding off a negative mood swing while I was at work the other day and went from gregarious and laughing to feeling like I should probably kill myself within a matter of minutes. The tiniest little thing can set it off, too. Finally decided to get professional help after the insistent urging of a close friend, so that's nice.


Same, I was at a family thing and went from having a great time, laughing, talking and stuff, to an hour later sitting alone and catching my self as I desperately looked around for a sharp object to kill myself bc someone got offended I accidentally talked over them. I know I need help but I just can't...


What would you like people to know about something you are struggling with?

People Who Actually Died And Were Revived Share Their Experiences

"Reddit user AlaskaStiletto asked: 'Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?'"

Close up face of a woman in bed, staring into the camera
Photo by Jen Theodore

Experiencing death is a fascinating and frightening idea.

Who doesn't want to know what is waiting for us on the other side?

But so many of us want to know and then come back and live a little longer.

It would be so great to be sure there is something else.

But the whole dying part is not that great, so we'll have to rely on other people's accounts.

Redditor AlaskaStiletto wanted to hear from everyone who has returned to life, so they asked:

"Redditors who have 'died' and come back to life, what did you see?"


Happy Good Vibes GIF by Major League SoccerGiphy

"My dad's heart stopped when he had a heart attack and he had to be brought back to life. He kept the paper copy of the heart monitor which shows he flatlined. He said he felt an overwhelming sensation of peace, like nothing he had felt before."



"I had surgical complications in 2010 that caused a great deal of blood loss. As a result, I had extremely low blood pressure and could barely stay awake. I remember feeling like I was surrounded by loved ones who had passed. They were in a circle around me and I knew they were there to guide me onwards. I told them I was not ready to go because my kids needed me and I came back."

"My nurse later said she was afraid she’d find me dead every time she came into the room."

"It took months, and blood transfusions, but I recovered."


Take Me Back

"Overwhelming peace and happiness. A bright airy and floating feeling. I live a very stressful life. Imagine finding out the person you have had a crush on reveals they have the same feelings for you and then you win the lotto later that day - that was the feeling I had."

"I never feared death afterward and am relieved when I hear of people dying after suffering from an illness."



The Light Minnie GIF by (G)I-DLEGiphy

"I had a heart surgery with near-death experience, for me at least (well the possibility that those effects are caused by morphine is also there) I just saw black and nothing else but it was warm and I had such inner peace, its weird as I sometimes still think about it and wish this feeling of being so light and free again."


This is why I hate surgery.

You just never know.



"More of a near-death experience. I was electrocuted. I felt like I was in a deep hole looking straight up in the sky. My life flashed before me. Felt sad for my family, but I had a deep sense of peace."



"Nursing in the ICU, we’ve had people try to die on us many times during the years, some successfully. One guy stood out to me. His heart stopped. We called a code, are working on him, and suddenly he comes to. We hadn’t vented him yet, so he was able to talk, and he started screaming, 'Don’t let them take me, don’t let them take me, they are coming,' he was scared and yelling."

"Then he yelled a little more, as we tried to calm him down, he screamed, 'No, No,' and gestured towards the end of the bed, and died again. We didn’t get him back. It was seriously creepy. We called his son to tell him the news, and the son said basically, 'Good, he was an SOB.'”



"My sister died and said it was extremely peaceful. She said it was very loud like a train station and lots of talking and she was stuck in this area that was like a curtain with lots of beautiful colors (colors that you don’t see in real life according to her) a man told her 'He was sorry, but she had to go back as it wasn’t her time.'"


"I had a really similar experience except I was in an endless garden with flowers that were colors I had never seen before. It was quiet and peaceful and a woman in a dress looked at me, shook her head, and just said 'Not yet.' As I was coming back, it was extremely loud, like everyone in the world was trying to talk all at once. It was all very disorienting but it changed my perspective on life!"


The Fog

"I was in a gray fog with a girl who looked a lot like a young version of my grandmother (who was still alive) but dressed like a pioneer in the 1800s she didn't say anything but kept pulling me towards an opening in the wall. I kept refusing to go because I was so tired."

"I finally got tired of her nagging and went and that's when I came to. I had bled out during a c-section and my heart could not beat without blood. They had to deliver the baby and sew up the bleeders. refill me with blood before they could restart my heart so, like, at least 12 minutes gone."


Through the Walls

"My spouse was dead for a couple of minutes one miserable night. She maintains that she saw nothing, but only heard people talking about her like through a wall. The only thing she remembers for absolute certain was begging an ER nurse that she didn't want to die."

"She's quite alive and well today."


Well let's all be happy to be alive.

It seems to be all we have.

Man's waist line
Santhosh Vaithiyanathan/Unsplash

Trying to lose weight is a struggle understood by many people regardless of size.

The goal of reaching a healthy weight may seem unattainable, but with diet and exercise, it can pay off through persistence and discipline.

Seeing the pounds gradually drop off can also be a great motivator and incentivize people to stay the course.

Those who've achieved their respective weight goals shared their experiences when Redditor apprenti8455 asked:

"People who lost a lot of weight, what surprises you the most now?"

Redditors didn't see these coming.

Shiver Me Timbers

"I’m always cold now!"

– Telrom_1

"I had a coworker lose over 130 pounds five or six years ago. I’ve never seen him without a jacket on since."

– r7ndom

"140 lbs lost here starting just before COVID, I feel like that little old lady that's always cold, damn this top comment was on point lmao."

– mr_remy

Drawing Concern

"I lost 100 pounds over a year and a half but since I’m old(70’s) it seems few people comment on it because (I think) they think I’m wasting away from some terminal illness."

– dee-fondy

"Congrats on the weight loss! It’s honestly a real accomplishment 🙂"

"Working in oncology, I can never comment on someone’s weight loss unless I specifically know it was on purpose, regardless of their age. I think it kind of ruffles feathers at times, but like I don’t want to congratulate someone for having cancer or something. It’s a weird place to be in."

– LizardofDeath

Unleashing Insults

"I remember when I lost the first big chunk of weight (around 50 lbs) it was like it gave some people license to talk sh*t about the 'old' me. Old coworkers, friends, made a lot of not just negative, but harsh comments about what I used to look like. One person I met after the big loss saw a picture of me prior and said, 'Wow, we wouldn’t even be friends!'”

"It wasn’t extremely common, but I was a little alarmed by some of the attention. My weight has been up and down since then, but every time I gain a little it gets me a little down thinking about those things people said."

– alanamablamaspama

Not Everything Goes After Losing Weight

"The loose skin is a bit unexpected."

– KeltarCentauri

"I haven’t experienced it myself, but surgery to remove skin takes a long time to recover. Longer than bariatric surgery and usually isn’t covered by insurance unless you have both."

– KatMagic1977

"It definitely does take a long time to recover. My Dad dropped a little over 200 pounds a few years back and decided to go through with skin removal surgery to deal with the excess. His procedure was extensive, as in he had skin taken from just about every part of his body excluding his head, and he went through hell for weeks in recovery, and he was bedridden for a lot of it."

– Jaew96

These Redditors shared their pleasantly surprising experiences.


"I can buy clothes in any store I want."

– WaySavvyD

"When I lost weight I was dying to go find cute, smaller clothes and I really struggled. As someone who had always been restricted to one or two stores that catered to plus-sized clothing, a full mall of shops with items in my size was daunting. Too many options and not enough knowledge of brands that were good vs cheap. I usually went home pretty frustrated."

– ganache98012

No More Symptoms

"Lost about 80 pounds in the past year and a half, biggest thing that I’ve noticed that I haven’t seen mentioned on here yet is my acid reflux and heartburn are basically gone. I used to be popping tums every couple hours and now they just sit in the medicine cabinet collecting dust."

– colleennicole93

Expanding Capabilities

"I'm all for not judging people by their appearance and I recognise that there are unhealthy, unachievable beauty standards, but one thing that is undeniable is that I can just do stuff now. Just stamina and flexibility alone are worth it, appearance is tertiary at best."

– Ramblonius

People Change Their Tune

"How much nicer people are to you."

"My feet weren't 'wide' they were 'fat.'"

– LiZZygsu

"Have to agree. Lost 220 lbs, people make eye contact and hold open doors and stuff"

"And on the foot thing, I also lost a full shoe size numerically and also wear regular width now 😅"

– awholedamngarden

It's gonna take some getting used to.

Bones Everywhere

"Having bones. Collarbones, wrist bones, knee bones, hip bones, ribs. I have so many bones sticking out everywhere and it’s weird as hell."

– Princess-Pancake-97

"I noticed the shadow of my ribs the other day and it threw me, there’s a whole skeleton in here."

– bekastrange

Knee Pillow

"Right?! And they’re so … pointy! Now I get why people sleep with pillows between their legs - the knee bones laying on top of each other (side sleeper here) is weird and jarring."

– snic2030

"I lost only 40 pounds within the last year or so. I’m struggling to relate to most of these comments as I feel like I just 'slimmed down' rather than dropped a ton. But wow, the pillow between the knees at night. YES! I can relate to this. I think a lot of my weight was in my thighs. I never needed to do this up until recently."

– Strongbad23

More Mobility

"I’ve lost 100 lbs since 2020. It’s a collection of little things that surprise me. For at least 10 years I couldn’t put on socks, or tie my shoes. I couldn’t bend over and pick something up. I couldn’t climb a ladder to fix something. Simple things like that I can do now that fascinate me."

"Edit: Some additional little things are sitting in a chair with arms, sitting in a booth in a restaurant, being able to shop in a normal store AND not needing to buy the biggest size there, being able to easily wipe my butt, and looking down and being able to see my penis."

– dma1965

People making significant changes, whether for mental or physical health, can surely find a newfound perspective on life.

But they can also discover different issues they never saw coming.

That being said, overcoming any challenge in life is laudable, especially if it leads to gaining confidence and ditching insecurities.

In 2017, I returned to my office after my lunch break to hear my supervisors discussing Tom Petty. This seemed like a random topic to me until one of my supervisors told me Tom Petty had passed away. He was a huge fan of Petty and spent the next hour or so combing through the internet to get more information.

He came back into the room my other supervisor and I were working in and announced that Tom Petty wasn't dead after all. News outlets had jumped the gun to announce his death, but he was actually still alive.

The next day, I came in to find out that Tom Petty was dead; the news may have been premature, but true.

This is a classic example of the rumor being started on the internet. Sometimes, like with the news of Tom Petty's death, the rumor can run wild and appear everywhere. Other times, the rumor can be seen by just a few people and dismissed. However, a lot of times, these rumors turn out to be true.

Redditors know a lot of internet rumors that turned out to be true, and are eager to share.

It all started when Redditor strakerak asked:

"What started out as an internet rumor that ended up being infamously true?"

The King Of Pop

"Michael Jackson writing the music for Sonic 3."

"He actually did, but was never credited on the game because it would breach his contract with his record label."

– -WigglyLine-

"He did the same when he appeared on The Simpsons. He appeared under a pseudonym, and the Producers said it was an impersonator."

"Only years later they confirmed it really was Michael."

"His singing voice was actually done by an impersonator, though."

– given2fly_

The Truth Comes Out

"In 1998, US Men’s National Team captain John Harkes was shockingly cut from the team right before the World Cup. The coach claimed it was because Harkes wouldn’t fit into his new preferred formation, but rumors flew on the early internet that it was actually because he had slept with his teammate Eric Wynalda’s wife. The rumor was so well-known in soccer circles that Harkes expressly denied it in his autobiography the next year."

"Fast forward 12 years to 2010 and Wynalda admits it’s true. The coach then came out and admitted it was why he dropped Harkes, but that he’d planned to keep the secret as long as Wynalda did."

– guyfromsoccer

Video Evidence

"The Tim Burton Hansel and Gretel that aired once on halloween in the 80's."

"I heard for years that it was fake but I knew it was real because my dad recorded everything in the 80s and he recorded that. We let a good friend of ours borrow it and switch it over from VHS to DVD and soon after that it made its way on to the internet , and there it is now. I know it's our copy because the tracking in the beginning is screwed up. Still have the VHS."

– Frozenthickness

"There was a similar story with a Nickelodeon movie called Cry Baby Lane. It was supposed to be so scary that Nickelodeon got complaints and denied its existence for years. Someone uploaded a taped copy to youtube about a decade ago."

– PattiAllen

The Movie Business

"That North Korea hacked Sony Pictures because of The Interview movie."

"I worked in the movie business at the time and the account managers at Sony all basically needed to get new identities as all of their personal information got leaked online."


"My partner worked on that movie and the production bought all the crew 1 year of an identity theft tracking service."


Keep Away From The Ears Of Kids

"Some banned episodes or scenes of cartoons."

"For example, I remember there was a Dexter’s Lab cartoon where he clones evil versions of DeDe and himself and they swear like every other word (censored of course), and people debated whether it even existed cause they only aired it like once. Now it’s pretty accessible online."

– Spledidlife

Yes, It's True

"Echelon, a massive electronic espionage system by the US and allies to intercept all electronic messages, especially emails."

"In the mid-nineties it was a topic on conspiracy BBS boards. A lot of people in my bubble at the time (mainly uni students in Europe) were including fake threats to the US in the their email signatures as a way to "protest" and "fill the system with false alarms" (obviously useless)."

"Then, in 1999-2000 came out to be true and a lot of security service agencies from UK and other US allies started to admit they were part of the espionage network."

– latflickr

How The Mighty Fell

"John Edward’s love child."

– ACam574

"A reminder that he was cheating on his wife while she was hospitalized for cancer treatment."

– Fanclock314


"Carrie Fisher's heart attack. Some a**hole who was on the same flight was livetweeting the whole medical emergency and justified it by insisting she was just making sure the family was informed."

– everylastlight

It Actually Happened

"Every year around her birthday there was a rumor that Betty White died. When I heard she died, I scoffed, saying that dumb rumor is back.... then saw it on the news. I was in shock."

– Known-Committee8679

"The fact that Betty died literally right before she turned 100 is such a Betty White way to go out."

– Paganigsegg

Big Actor, Small Roles

"I distinctly remember some rumors about the reason why Bruce Willis was taking so many roles in sh*tty movies before it was announced he has dementia."

– KampferMann

"RedLetterMedia did a deep dive on his recent movie activity to try and work out why exactly he was taking part in basically scam-movies. They noticed he had an earpiece in one of the scenes and joked that the director was feeding him lines. I remember they even disclaimed over the rumours at the time, and possible made a follow-up vid when it was revealed to the public."

– CardinalCreepia

What To Do Next?

"That the writer of LOST were making it up as they went."

"Turned out to be absolutely true."

– homarjr

That last one was kind of obvious!

Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comment below.