Having a bad mental health day can be a lonely time for someone with mental illness if you don’t have someone you can talk to about it. You may have a lot of family and friends, but they may not understand what you are going through. So if you do try to talk to them about it, they may get uncomfortable and not know what to say to you. Because of this, you might not know how much to tell them when they ask “How are you?” Are they just asking to be polite? Or do they really want to know how you are? Do you tell them how you really are? Or do you just say “I’m fine,” which seems to be the universal answer from someone going through a rough time with their mental illness.
When you have those days where you are just depressed, or really anxious you might make excuses or cancel plans by lying about what is really going on. You might think that it is just easier that way instead of trying to explain to someone why your anxiety is making it so you can’t leave your house today, or that you are so depressed you haven’t showered in 3 days and are still in your pajamas from 3 days ago. Sometimes people who do not struggle with mental illness just don’t get it. It’s not their fault, they just haven’t gone through it themselves.
Another reason you may not want to explain when you are having a bad day is you don’t want to be a burden to anyone. That is something a lot of us feel. That we will be a burden if we talk about our issues. But most family members and friends that truly care about you would rather you talk to them than know you are sitting in misery by yourself, no matter how uncomfortable it may make them feel.
Have you ever lost friends because you were having some tough days or weeks with depression? Sometimes, because we have a tendency to cancel plans, it can eventually push people away from us. This is an unfortunate consequence, but something we all have probably experienced at one time or another. The friend eventually just gets tired of getting shot down when they invite you to do something that they stop asking all together. Or they are tired that you never ask them to do anything.
For those family and friends that seem to want to hear about how you are doing, you should take advantage of that by educating them about your mental illness. Let them ask you questions about it, and be open with them if they are willing to listen. These are the ones you want to hold tight too. These are the ones you will be able to count on when you are having a rough mental health day.