I have reasons why, in my almost four years of suffering from symptoms of depression and anxiety, there has only been one person (a friend in real life) I’ve talked to about it.
Sadly, most of my reasons for keeping it all in are somewhat illogical and counter-productive.
1. They have their own problems, so why be a burden to them?
2. Others have it way worse than me, so I just need to suck it up.
3. The world is not going to pause, whether I tell anyone about my problems or not.
4. I need to suck it up.
5. I really need to suck it up.
6. Is there anything anyone can do about it? Or would I just be an addition to their stress?
7. I’m afraid they’ll start walking on eggshells (so to speak) around me
8. I might receive pity rather than understanding
9. Their questions will haunt me (e.g. “Did you hurt yourself?” “Did you plan on killing yourself?” “What?! But you look happy!!” Just. Shut. Up.). But the fact of the matter is, I don’t owe them an explanation (I think)
10. Like I said, I don’t owe anyone an explanation unless my actions/behaviors directly affect them
11. Stigma. Apparently having a mental illness equates to being crazy.
12. In relation to that, I have a friend who once told me she’s afraid of crazy people. Like, what does that entail, exactly?!
13. Stereotypes. (e.g. “I’m depressed, therefore I must want to kill myself.”)
14. Rejection and discrimination
15. Other people just wouldn’t understand.
16. Sometimes even the symptoms of depression and anxiety itself are the ones that keep me from telling anyone.
Is there anything else to add to the list?
Just please, let there be no more reasons to keep quiet about things like mental illness.