Just Snap Out Of It - Laura Kay, NCS Grad
“Are you even trying to get better?”
“Stop being so anxious”
“It’s just a bad habit”
“Surely it can’t be that bad”
“There’s always someone worse off than you”
“Don’t be so dramatic!”
“Just snap out of it!”
These are just some of the phrases that people with mental health problems will hear on a daily basis. You have no idea how much people suffer until you’ve experienced it yourself!
Imagine walking up to a cancer patient and saying, “Just get over it, it’s not that bad!” No. You wouldn’t say such a heartless thing would you? Then why do people feel that it’s perfectly alright to treat mental illness differently? They’re still illnesses, so why is there so much stigma?!
Here’s an example of how mental illness is treated differently to physical illness. Two employees ring into work because they’re sick.
Employee A: I’m not going to be able to come into work today, I’ve got a terrible cold.
Boss: That’s perfectly fine, take some rest and see how you feel tomorrow.
Employee B: I’m not going to be able to come into work today, I’ve just had an agonizing panic attack.
Boss: It can’t be that bad, if you’re not really ill then you need to come into work.
See the difference? Physical illnesses have constant superiority over mental ones. Why? Because most of the time, others have no idea how to deal with them, which is completely unacceptable! If mental illness were treated the same way as physical illnesses, the world would be a much more tolerable place! However, if physical illnesses were disregarded like mental illnesses, then there’d be an uproar…
This is why people with anxiety, depression, PTSD and etc. feel so isolated sometimes; they have no one to turn to for real help! Sufferers may go to GP clinics with symptoms of some kind, only to be told that there’s nothing wrong with them and that they shouldn’t waste people’s valuable time with a fake illness.
Mental illness can eventually strike up severe physical problems for people. Here are some examples…
- Back pain
- Muscle aches and joint pain.
- Chest pain
- Digestive problems.
- Exhaustion and fatigue
- Pounding heart, sweating
- Headaches, stomach upset, or dizziness
- Frequent urination or diarrhea
- Shortness of breath
- Muscle tension, tremors, and twitches
- Fatigue or insomnia
- Nausea, and a racing heart
- Chronic pain
- Stomach pain
There are so many types of mental illnesses that I can’t physically list them all! It’s brilliant that there are now names associated with people’s symptoms, but it still sucks that there isn’t enough help for these people. Sure, there are therapists and specialised psychologists, but there just aren’t enough!
I remember in May 2015 when I was told about my ventricular cyst, that I would be put on the waiting list for neuropsychology. Must’ve been a long list… I had my brain surgery in January 2016, and I still hadn’t received a letter from neuropsychology regarding an appointment. I waited over a year! A YEAR! It’s absolutely ridiculous.
The problem with the mental health institution is that waiting lists are far too long to even explain. And you’re only put on a waiting list if they believe you’re worth helping.
“You’re not mad enough. Sorry, there’s no point in us even trying to help you.”
“You’re way too mad. Sorry, we can’t be arsed with you cause it’ll take up too much time.”
“You’re just the right amount of mad, we’re gonna put you on an 18-month waiting list.”
You see? RIDICULOUS! Thankfully I’m now seeing a wonderful neuropsychologist who is trying his best to help me with my PTSD, but it still aggravates me that others don’t have this privilege.
Something that really angers me is when people diagnose themselves with mental illnesses, when they clearly have no idea what it really entails. I find that this is mostly common with anxiety and depression.
“I’m so worried about this piece of homework… I must have anxiety.”
“I’m so sad about Dobby’s death in Harry Potter, I must be depressed.”
NO! This is what people would say if they truly suffered from anxiety/depression:
“I’m so worried about everything – I can’t breathe, I’m not good enough, I can’t do anything right, I can’t breathe, I don’t know what to do, I feel sick, I can’t breathe, I can’t do it, I’m shaking, I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe! I have anxiety.”
“I’m so sad about everything – my life is a mess, there’s no point to anything, I’m so tired, I can’t get up, I don’t want to do it, I can’t eat anything, I’m dizzy, I can’t sleep, my chest hurts, I hurt all over! I have depression.”
There’s so much more to these issues than what they’re stereotyped to be! Anxiety isn’t just the feeling of being worried and depression isn’t just the feeling of sadness and PTSD isn’t just thinking about something traumatic that happened. The list goes on and on…
Many people feel as though they know all there is to know about mental health but, in reality, they have no idea! To elaborate, people understand the basic symptoms of mental health problems like sadness or nervousness but once they see someone having full blown panic attacks, hallucinations, flashbacks, mood swings, fits of rage etc., they retreat as they have no clue what’s going on. Then they use the terms “just get over it” and “don’t be so dramatic”.
These terms make mental health sufferers feel even crappier than before! Again, you wouldn’t walk up to someone with a clear physical illness and say “don’t be so dramatic”, “are you even trying to get better?”, or “just snap out of it!”
YOU JUST WOULDN’T DO IT!!!
I ask you, why should we treat illnesses differently? Instead of backing away from people with mental health problems, we should help them like we would with someone who was suffering physically! It’s pretty damn simple people!
Mental illnesses can be ten times more crippling than any physical illness, with too many symptoms to list! Let’s all be decent human beings for once and look out for each other!
Stay jazzy :)