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?
Not all television and movies are loved by all.
A story and its characters have to appeal to you in order for you to be engaged.
It can take next to nothing for us to lose interest and let the screen go black.
Redditor BarooTangClan wanted to compare notes on all the entertainment we've said "that's enough" to.
"What will make you instantly stop watching a movie or show and why?"
I hate bad acting, writing, storytelling... I hate bad anything.
Stop JumpingFight Scene GIF by Operation FortuneGiphy
"Fight scenes with a million visual cuts. Gives me motion sickness. Contrast the absolutely masterful work in John Wick. long cuts, realistic use of weapons (mostly), 100% skill."
"When the actors whisper the whole movie and you have to crank the volume to hear what's being said - but the soundtrack or some other misc noise starts blaring at a higher volume directly after."
"I basically had to watch Stranger Things up in my attic with the windows and doors closed. I was worried the neighbors would think something was wrong or be annoyed if I watched it downstairs in my single family home. It was ridiculous."
"spice things up"
"Love triangles out of no where in a second or third season to 'spice things up' because studio writers are hacks and their idea of relationship drama is 'potential infidelity' at all times. It's the most tired trope on the go**amn planet and the second I see it rear its head I dip right the hell out."
"The whole concept of a love triangle to begin with an incredibly juvenile. Any healthy functioning adult who found themselves in a love triangle would soon choose to find themselves single."
Save your lips...
"When couples in a movie/show have a fight and one of them instantly goes to a friend and end up kissing her/him after talking for 5 minutes. I cringe so hard i turn it off and never watch it again."
"This pissed me off so much in Manifest. Girl is desperate to get back her ex-fiancé, he finally breaks up with his wife to get back with her and she's like 'nah, it's not fair to your wife, let me do this other dude I just met through a calling and be pissed at you for being jealous.' Michaela was the worst and everyone acted as if she were a saint the entire time."
Talk to MeIn Love Flirt GIF by OriginalsGiphy
"Shows where a single polite conversation could fix everything."
We are going overboard with the witty repartee. Talk normal...
Shut UpScared Home Alone GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Annoying main character, especially if it's a kid."
"Kids who have a quippy, sassy retort to everything, and everyone just kind of crumbles before their wit."
"Shows where kids in high school talk like they are 30 years olds who have done everything, been everywhere, know it all and use a ridiculously flowery and extensive vocabulary in every conversation. Like, have any of these writers ever been to high school? Literally no one talks like that. Even worse is when, in addition to this, all the adults talk normal or are just plain stupid, like so weird parallel universe."
"If the movie is too dark. Not graphic, just literally dark. I lose all sense of intensity in dark scenes and I'm not straining my damn eyes trying to figure out what the hell is going on."
"I've seen about 10 percent of all DC movies recently. I've seen all of the individual films in full, just actually saw 10% of each of them."
"Movies in the late 80s had a lot of dark but you could see the depth because of different shooting techniques. Now you cant see crap because its a CGI fest drowned in black color so you can't see crap because you have no depth in a scene. Compare night scenes in dark alleys in 80's movies and movies now. Utter crap show in the new ones."
Pay Attention Storytellers
"Bad editing would be a big one. A lot of modern horror movies can't help but edit the movies like they're trailers, with added noises to scare the audience because they are afraid the script alone isn't enough to keep people watching."
"I remember this is where the first transformers movie lost me. When the transformers are fighting at the end, it's all a big, jumbled mess of metal and I can barely tell what's going on or who is who."
Dramawill devry soap opera GIF by General HospitalGiphy
"When they go straight to relationship drama right away when it wasn't the selling point of the show."
Do better, Hollywood. It's not that hard.
I fear death.
I wake up in cold sweats dreaming about it.
I think about it in my waking hours.
It's an obsession and clearly, I'm not alone.
But there are more preferred ways to exit.
All we can do is hope to be lucky enough to skip the mercilessly awful.
Please just let me go quick and in my sleep.
RedditorCallMehRiverwanted to hear about all the ways none of us what to leave this life.
"What Do You Think Would Be The Worst Death Imaginable?"
My list of the worst deaths is long. My imagination runs amok.
Trappedseason 6 friends GIFGiphy
"For me? Being trapped in a small tube or cave (like the ones you have to wiggle through) and getting stuck to where you can’t move your arms. And all you can do is wait to die. I’m getting chills just thinking about it."
"The more I hear about cavers that get stuck, the more I think that's a crap way to go."
"There’s a great YouTube channel called Ask a Mortician and this was her #1 worse way to die. I can’t remember the exact details or their names, but two well-known divers went into an underwater cave."
"One of them became entangled and died. Years later, his friend dives back down there to try and retrieve his body, the body itself is rotten and his head comes off and the other guy also becomes tangled and dies. Really sad."
A Long Process
"Believed to be in a coma but coherent through the whole 20 year process until they pull the plug."
"Oh man this just reminded me of a story I read on here about a guy who lost the ability to move and speak but was completely conscious. Had to just lay there and be awake but trapped in a useless body. His family thought he was brain dead or something and he couldn’t communicate to them that he was 'all there.' Crazy"
Slow & Steady
"Being slowly impaled by a growing bamboo. It was a form of torture probably used by the japanese during WW2 against Allied prisoners."
"The scariest part is that once you have symptoms, you 100% will die. A 100% mortality rate has to be a psychological torture in itself."
"Not only that, you feel irrational fear. Your brain is literally being eaten apart by the virus and it fu*ks up everything on it. You can't drink water because it hurts you. You feel dizzy, present a fever, excessively salivate, everything hurts and it only gets worse. I'd rather take a bullet and die when the symptoms are still tolerable."
Why can't we all just go engulfed in calm and quiet?
"Some pulpy sci-fi book I read a while back had one of the best deaths of this real piece of crap bad guy. Left to die in a drowning sea lab under the Antarctic ice, he freezes himself in a state of the art suspended animation pod with some kind cold fusion power source that would keep it running for millions of years."
"But he forgot to inject himself with the drug that would put him to sleep. So basically he is in suspended animation at the bottom of the Antarctic ocean while his mind is perfectly awake and conscious in a near unbreakable machine that won't run out of power for millions of years and nobody knows about it."
"As an RN I have always thought that the worst way to die (natural process) is ALS. Lou Gehrig's Disease."
"My mom and grandmother have Huntington's disease, which is essentially ALS, Alzheimer's, and Dementia combined into one really messed up genetic disease. I have a 50% chance of inheriting it and if I hit 40 and there's still no cure I can't promise I'll feel like continuing on with my life because that disease is absolutely freaking miserable."
"The fact your chromosomes can be so destroyed your body basically lost it's genetic code and with it the ability to make any new cells. It's literally a 'dead man walking' and you slowly rot away in agony. Stuff is so unimaginably f**ked up."
"What's also bad about radiation is that it affects your nerves and brain cells last, so you have everything in place to feel all the pain of the rest of your cells being destroyed."
GooNot Listening Season 2 GIF by The Fresh Prince of Bel-AirGiphy
"I want to believe anything that slowly kills you painfully to be the worst. Such as slowly being crushed or something where the pain is beyond compare and yet not enough to throw you into shock or unconsciousness."
"Alternatively, being rapidly crushed into goo would probably be the least painful. I'm talking one of those massive industrial hammers they use for large steel work. Basically smooshed before the nerve signals make it to the brain."
Now I'll never sleep again without nightmares of death.
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).
To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/
Most Americans think nothing of their humdrum daily activities or amenities available to them.
However, others with a different perspective might romanticize the things that are otherwise commonplace ideas and concepts for US citizens, like going to a diner or riding the school bus.
One Redditor looked to foreigners to hear of their American desires to respond to the following:
"Non-Americans of Reddit: what is an American thing you have always wanted to try?"
The things depicted in film really captivated foreign audiences.
"To visit a diner like in the movies. In the middle of the night, it’s raining and just a few people there with great music from a jukebox."
Iconic Student Transport
"Ride a yellow school bus even if I'm too old. Growing up I always loved seeing them on TV."
Just Like The Ones We Used To Know
"A white Christmas."
"Living in an Australian state where I've never even seen snow in our winter, let alone experiencing that classic Hallmark movie moment of waking up to a street full of it and sitting around a fireplace while opening gifts/preparing a feast."
"Guess it's not strictly American, but the imagery and trope is something I've only really seen from American Films."
They may be ubiquitous for us, but they sure seem to be novel ideas to foreigners.
Let's Be Frank
"One of the hotdogs from those little street cart things."
"A friend of mine from Indonesia said, 'the food chewer in the sink.'"
"Apple Pie made by white-haired grandma, placed near window, who says 'oh dear...' as I levitate towards it."
"Proper tailgating before a ball game, the kind where there's ribs and stuff."
"Deep fried foods at a state fair. I'm from Scotland and we love to deep fry everything and I wanna know if it's just as good or better."
There are places to see!
Places To See
"America’s greatest invention!"
Backpacking In Nature
"I always wanted to hike The Appalachian Trail if that counts. Or see Yellowstone."
"Being able to start a whole new life 'elsewhere' without having to leave my country and going through an arduous immigration process."
My cousin told me she looks forward to visiting a Trader Joe's someday when she visits America for the first time.
Her bucket list option was hardly surprising. My parents used to bring treats from TJs as a novelty souvenir gift item, and my relatives ate it up. Literally.
Let's face it. The snacks at TJs rocks.
Even store locations in New York City would have ridiculously long lines during busy hours because the West-coast-based grocer was a novelty on the East Coast.
Many people work hard from the moment they are on the clock until their respective shifts are over at the end of a long day.
For many of those in the workforce, the wages barely sustain a comfortable living, especially for those who are raising a family.
Yet, there are jobs that are known to pay a higher salary without requiring extreme physical labor, or the requirement of higher education.
Curious to hear what those jobs might be, Redditor ImAMasterBayter asked:
"People Break Down Which Professions Are Completely Overpaid"
Extensive training requirements are not a thing, apparently, with these professions.
Daily Dairy Duty
"I watch milk powder go into a bag and out on a conveyor and get paid $37 an hour."
Eyeing Dirt In Motion
"Mine? I get paid $20.50 a hr to watch dirt go by on a belt all day."
The Handy Man Is Happy To Help
"I am a handy man that charges $50/hr with a 3hr minimum, a couple months ago I got a call for service that consisted of changing 9 smoke detector batteries, 2 light bulbs, and rehanging a picture. I felt bad taking the money but the guy couldn’t have been happier to have that stuff finally done. He asked for my card and is now a very good client."
Words From An Appraiser
"I make about 40 an hour after tax in the US as a real estate appraiser. You just need a college degree and a year of training and there is a huge shortage of appraisers right now."
"Edit because this post blew up: I only perceive this job as being overpaid because I used spent most of my 20's making pizza for minimum wage and imposter syndrome is a thing. Also, OP said he was looking for a possible career, and I felt like my job post was better than a troll post."
"Appraisers are not real estate agents or brokers. I do not buy or sell property."
"I do not, 'look at zillow and copy the number' and I don't just, 'make the number' in valuation. While I agree there are some appraisers who may lie or exaggerate, the same could be said of nearly any job. However, if I were to intentionally try hit some goal and got caught fudging the numbers, I'm looking at permanently losing my license and possible jail time depending on the severity. It's actually pretty common for me to, 'tank a deal' if someone is paying too much. This isn't the wild west of valuation anymore; FIRREA is a thing now. Appraisal reports aren't just 3 pages of photos with a cover page anymore; my typical appraisal is 30-50 pages with long boring typed pages of market data that I type and research myself."
"Let's talk about the appraisal gap. In most of the US, we are experiencing a, 'sellers market' meaning houses are selling for higher than what they normally sell for. A lot of people at this thread are blaming appraisers for driving housing prices up. Let me be perfectly clear about this: appraiser's valuations are based off of past data. That is it; we look at closed sales from the past. Realtors and brokers speculate on future markets, because they are motivated by profit. If anyone is driving this current market trend, it is the people buying properties over listing price, local government/laws willingness to allow foreign investors, the people who are raising rents, and the people who are making big risky developments. The appraisers have little to nothing to do with market perception of value; in my area at least many market participants are paying over 30% of listing price. Trust me when I say these people are not satisfied when my appraised value comes in less than that."
"The hardest part of the job is definitely the occasional angry phone call. Let's look at an example. Say someone lists their house at 100k, and they accept an offer for 150k, or 50% over listing. Well the appraisal is based off of past closed sales. The bank will only finance up to the appraised value. So if the appraisal comes in at 110k, meaning the subject in relation to comparable sales from the past year in the subject neighborhood equate to roughly 110k, they will either need to renegotiate the price, or be willing to put up 40k of their own money."
"In a sellers market, it's often better to accept a deal with better financing than a higher price. Let's say in this situation instead of taking the 150k offer with a mortgage, you take a smaller offer for 140k that is all cash, no financing. Well if there is no financing involved, meaning no bank, than no appraisal is needed."
Landing work in software seems to be like hitting the jackpot of success.
"I’m in software sales, software sales. Coworker got 100k commission on a deal."
"There are an incredible amount of 'analysts' who just 'own' automated excel sheets they received from developer teams."
"Low to mid six figures is common in HCOL areas."
The Successful Client
"I do the tax returns for a guy who paid 20k for demographic research software and made something like 40M over the last 3 years. His costs are almost nothing and admitted he does like 5 hours of work a week on it."
"I got more likes and comments than I thought I would, and wanted to add some more detail. The guy himself is super nice and easy to work with. It's hard not to feel jealous even though I make good money myself. His business and personal returns are super simple so we don't even charge him that much for them."
"The software is something proprietary he paid a third party for, and I don't know the name of that developer. The data output is sold to political campaigns and he's compensated more if the campaign wins. He did have some clients on both sides but now exclusively works on one side of the aisle."
Salaries in the world of academics got a closer inspection.
"University administrators and board members."
A Stark Contrast
"I'm a professor. I love it. But the 'president's office' contains a staff of 5 people with a total payroll of just under $500k/year. Meanwhile, all the PhDs, MFAs, and DMAs who teach all the classes, advise all the students, and serve on all the committees bring home a whopping $50k-$65k/year, dependent on rank, tenure, etc. It's real fun...
"The president of my institution makes a approximately $500k/year and is provided a house on campus alongside reserved parking if he so chooses to use it. He also gets a country club membership. Meanwhile I have to pay $200 to park at the school where I TA and do research, and I get paid maybe 1/20th of what he does. I genuinely do not understand why the f'k the dude who makes six figures doesn't pay for parking, but I do."
"Edit: that should be half a million."
Some of the cushiest jobs that require less time actively toiling away seem to be paying significantly more than the average livable wage offered in the US.
Perhaps the biggest indicator of what that might be was summed up best by Redditor iadasr, who said:
"Whatever you guys are all doing that lets you browse Reddit all day..."