Mental health in lieu of physical health

Hey guys! I’m doing so much better than I was two months ago. I’m finally on Humira! I’ve had two doses already (6 shots total) and I feel already 100% better. Humira burns like crazy when you get the shot, but it’s a great trade off because I can finally eat things like a normal human!

But today I’m here to talk about something. Mental illness vs. physical illness.

It’s this BuzzFeed post that set me off today, but I’ve been thinking about this for a long time now.

Many people seem to think they understand physical illnesses more than mental illnesses. You often hear people saying to people with mental illnesses that it’s all in your head and you can stop being depressed by just thinking happy thoughts. They couldn’t be more wrong about that.

With physical illnesses, most people tend to be understanding if you have a cold or the flu, or even a migraine. They tell you to take some medicine and rest. You may even get reprimanded if you try to go to work/school again too early because you might get sicker.

When it comes to invisible physical illnesses, that’s the outlier no one expected.

I’ve lost count at how many people have suggested different diets to me instead of letting me eat what I feel comfortable with. How do you expect me to go paleo when I can’t even eat a salad without doubling over in pain a few hours later? I can’t go vegan or vegetarian, as much as I’d like to.

One time I tried kale and it came out looking the same way it did when I ate it. Painful? You bet.

I also like steak and chicken a bit too much to let meat go. Plus, chicken is one of the few things I can eat without any problems afterward.

I’ve also had people tell me “At least it’s not cancer!”

Like really, I’m supposed to be overjoyed that I don’t have something that can potentially go into remission and possibly get cured. Ulcerative colitis tends to go into remission if you get the right medication going, but it can come back at the drop of a hat.

I’ve heard general statements that my fatigue is all in my head and if I just workout more, I’ll be fine.

Yeah, you try telling that to my anemia. I’m sure it’ll start letting up after I pass out on an elliptical a few times.

What I’m trying to say is, that physical illnesses are often thrown under the bus when you’re talking about mental illnesses. I’m starting to get really tired of people refusing to see what they’re doing is destructive. When I say I’m sick, I’m fucking sick. It probably doesn’t look it, though.

I nearly died from blood loss because no one believed me when I said I was sick until it was almost too late. I never want to be that sick again.

Now, let this be known that I’m nothing but for promoting mental health awareness, but if your method of informing people is to compare it to making people doubt physical health, you’re doing it wrong.

Don’t forget that invisible illnesses exist. Mental illnesses are really just the cause of a physically “sick” brain. Really, mental illnesses are physical illnesses too. There’s a reason why medications often work wonders for people.

Mental illnesses should be taught alongside other invisible illnesses. However, most people don’t understand invisible illnesses and probably will never understand – not even if someone close to them has one. You can’t understand what it’s like to have an invisible illness unless you actually have one.

I learned this myself the hard way.

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One thought on “Mental health in lieu of physical health”

  1. So good, so real! Thank you for sharing your thoughts, I have had so many of these experiences, and I’m sorry you have to fight the stigma so often in addition to battling your very real, very much physical illnesses. Every post like this helps break down the inherent ableism in our society.

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