The first time I told someone that I was mentally ill, they reacted with disbelief.
“You?” they asked. “You don’t seem that sick to me. Be careful not to play the victim.”
The second time I told someone that I was mentally ill, they invalidated me.
“We all get depressed sometimes,” they replied. “You just have to power through it.”
Countless times, I’ve been made to feel like my mental illness is my fault. I wasn’t trying hard enough, I needed to change my perspective, I wasn’t looking at all of my options, I was exaggerating how much pain I was in, I was only looking for sympathy.
If I wasn’t mentally well, they implied, it was obviously an issue with me that had nothing to do with the systems that fail mentally ill people each and every day. My “failure” to live a functional and happy life had nothing…
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