A Distinction Between The Mental Illnesses

NOTE: Severe mental illnesses, more often than not, are chronic and disabling. That’s bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.

My schizoaffective disorder is chronic and has been particularly disabling for the past year.

Things have always been bad, and it’s not a sometimes-thing (or a badge of honor) when I say that my every day experience is shit!

The reason for this post is that sometimes non-disabling mental illnesses are lumped into the same category as bipolar disorder, major depressive disorder, schizophrenia, and schizoaffective disorder.

Why does this distinction matter?

It matters because I do not want people being misinformed or disinformed, and this is a blog that is primarily about my lived experiences with severe mental illness.

Yes, all mental illness is bad! And, I am often quite liberal in saying that.

As I share this with you, it feels like I will be accused of invalidating other mental illnesses (i.e. anxiety and depression).

Invalidating others’ experiences is not what I’m about!

But, I will write more about severe mental illness than any other topic. And, I ask that everyone understand this, and do not invalidate me (or any of my readers) for this.

I know all too well that all mental illness SUCKS and that it’s not a competition.

Before I got my final diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, I had anxiety and depression.

I didn’t know I had those things, but looking back, that’s exactly what I was dealing with.

Why am I telling you this?

Untreated anxiety and depression can lead to psychosis, with an emphasis on these conditions being “untreated.“

For my handful of readers, I’m not sure I needed to share all of this, but I wanted to reiterate a few things overall.

Thanks for your understanding!

Sometimes It Gets Worse Before It Gets Better

That’s been my experience.

I wrote yesterday about a particularly challenging time I’ve been having with my mental illness.

Yesterday was a prime example of how things got worse, and how they’re now a bit better.

But, what does better look like?

“Better“ is not wanting to call it quits.

“Better” is holding out hope that things will continue to improve.

And “better” is having gratitude for doing (and having done) the things that perpetuate a good health experience.

Because somewhere along the line, I made some choices.

Either through my own volition or through coercion—it doesn’t matter.

The important thing is that I made the decision to take my medications.

And, that means everything to having somewhat of a life.

In all fairness, I should be either dead or institutionalized.

Thus, my gratitude extends to my decision to be on my psychiatric medications.

What Mental Illness Does To Those Who Have It

I’m coming off a particularly challenging time with my mental illness.

What I’m going through is cyclical.

And, the worst of it probably took place today.

The raw emotion I was going to use to write this post has slipped away, which is good, because that means things are on the upswing.

Now, I’m not sharing this information to garner attention, but to bring about awareness, so please don’t assume anything negative, or take things in a negative fashion.

In general, living every day with mental illness is difficult, with days like today taking the cake.

On those days that do take the cake, I want to be all but dead.

The challenge is not will I hurt myself today, it’s how long will it take for certain particular fears surrounding my suicidal thinking, to dissipate.

The fears I speak of are, “am I strong enough to withstand what I’m going through?”

And gratefully, I am. Or at least I tell myself that I am.

And, in any event, I have been. 🙂

All mental illness is bad, and anyone who calls it quits has my understanding, but I myself, want to be helpful.

I know (as do many of my readers) what those toughest days look and feel like.

So, the point of this post…

1) You are not alone. You never know what others are going through.

2) I get it. I’m someone who lives it.

3) There is help available. In the U.S., you can call a hotline (800-273-8255).

Outside of this, I hope everyone has a good day today!