We need to stop

We need to stop.
I am so tired of hearing, “Oh, I’m so OCD” when someone likes to be neat and orderly. (Which is not even the full definition of OCD, google it.)
Or when someone calls themselves or someone else bipolar because they have mood swings.  Or when someone labels themselves as having insomnia just because they have trouble getting to sleep at night.
The one that ticks me off the most is, “Oh, I almost got a panic attack!”  When someone simply gets freaked out.
No, you did not “almost have a panic attack”.  Do you know how serious they are?  It’s not okay to throw the term around like it’s nothing, when they affect so many people in a such a big way.
Another one that bugs me is when people throw around the words “phobia” and “fear” like they are the same thing.  No, they are not.
Anxiety and fear = not the same thing.
Just because you are afraid of spiders does not mean you have a phobia of them.
This is what a phobia is:

A phobia is a type of anxiety disorder, usually defined as a persistent fear of an object or situation in which the sufferer commits to great lengths in avoiding, typically disproportional to the actual danger posed, often being recognized as irrational.

Mental disorder = a serious problem that takes over your life and makes it hard to function like a normal human.  That’s what anxiety and phobias are.  That’s what OCD is.  That’s what an eating disorder is.
So just because you struggle with something a little bit, or maybe slightly more than a little bit, does not mean you have a mental problem.

Some people may think that it’s “overly sensitive” to get upset over things like this.
Um, is it being overly sensitive if I get upset over someone saying, “Oh, I so have cancer?”  When they don’t?  No.  It’s wrong and disturbing.  Just like doing the same for mental problems.
Just because you don’t understand it, doesn’t make it invalid.
I know how hard it is to get on the internet and drag your fingers over to the search bar to google “OCD” or “eating disorder” or “depression.”  But I believe in you.  You can do it.
…..Yeah, no it’s not.  It’s super easy to learn more about mental problems.  Read an article online, there’s tons of them.  Pick up a book.  Or ask someone who has a problem, who can better explain it to you.
It’s just so wrong that people rush over to help someone who has a cold or stomachache, but push those away who have DEPRESSION and invalidate it.
You would never go up to someone who has cancer and ask, “Really?  Do you actually have cancer?  Because I feel like you might be making it up.”  Or go up to someone who has diabetes and say, “You know, I think you’re doing this just for attention.”
Or someone who has a cold and say, “Just get over it.  You can control it.”
I just wish we didn’t have the stigmas that come with mental problems.  Just because you have one doesn’t make you crazy.  I mean, I’ve had three mental problems in my life, and I’m not crazy.
So educate yourself on mental problems like you would the same for physical ones.  And just be mindful of those who have to live with and struggle with them.

 

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13 thoughts on “We need to stop

  1. Beautiful article and ALL TOO TRUE. I have a grandmother who has a mental disorder ,but her sisters had been putting it off for years as just a personality trait–now it’s falling downhill and we’re in total chaos. She has a mental disorder but because she’s so smart in making it look like she doesn’t have one, it’s hard to get control of her, something we have to do fast before she ends up getting herself hurt.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ah I didn’t mean to submit that comment just yet, so sorry! Anyway, it is wrong to take traits that may look similar to a disorder and immediately call it that disorder. It’s terrible to do that, because having a mental disorder is a serious serious thing, far serious than for any of us who don’t have it could ever imagine. I guess the problem is not enough people take mental disorders seriously, because the issue with my grandmother is a reason for that, and all of these stupid “so an so gives me cancer” and “man my pencils aren’t in a line, I have OCD” only add to the problem that mental disorders aren’t serious. With a type of word in Google, the whole idea of the issue is at our fingertips for our understanding. I wonder why it’s so hard for others to educate themselves :/

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m really sorry to hear that about your grandmother!! It’s hard when people don’t understand. I agree, people just don’t take it seriously, and it’s so easy to educate yourself on those things!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. This is so true! Someone in my family has a serious struggle with OCD, and it makes me really angry when people make fun of it or claim they have it when they just like things to be orderly. Real OCD takes over your entire life and is extremely debilitating. Also, as someone who struggles with generalized anxiety, it’s frustrating when people think that means just being nervous. That’s not even the beginning. it’s racing thoughts, nausea, inability to focus, lack of confidence, so many things, often over no explainable reason. Society really needs to work on how we treat mental illness. They aren’t a joke!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. You did an amazing job on this post! I’m currently writing a book where the main characters have mental illnesses, and this is very helpful.

    It hit pretty close to home, too. I recently figured out that I have depression. The last few paragraphs of your post pretty much describe why I was afraid to tell anyone — all the stigma surrounding mental illnesses.

    Once again, you did a lovely job!

    -Loren

    Liked by 1 person

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