Here’s what I’ve decided: People generally get depression. By that I mean, they understand what it’s like to feel sad and self-loathing. They get the feeling of being helpless. They may not understand the complexities and nuances or how hard it is to do simple tasks like brush your teeth. But they get the general sentiment about what it feels like to be depressed.
People also generally get anxiety. We all experience anxiety to a certain extent. It’s like that moment before a test or the big game. Perhaps you’re waiting for news and you can’t sit still. Although anxiety is 100 times more complex than that the literal how it feels people are able to get.
What people don’t get are the other aspects of mental illnesses. They don’t know what it’s like to have hallucinations — auditory or visual — they don’t know what it’s like to be manic. These are experiences beyond the human spectrum of understanding; unless you live with someone who is Schizophrenic or Bipolar or you have Schizophrenia or Bipolar.
I could explain all day what it feels like to be hypomanic — it feels like I’m constantly late for something. It feels like I’ve forgotten something important. My skin is crawling and I want to rip it off. It feels like there are ants in my brain. I’m twitchy like a tweaker in need of a hit. I’m paranoid as fuck. I ramble about things that I think sound profound, but really sound illogical and dumb. My voice is too loud, words tumbling out too fast. But at the same time, I am hyper focused and aware. You need that project done — it’s getting done, like TODAY!
But this, all this energy. It could be gone tomorrow. And I’ll be a pile of depression — that thing you can all understand.