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explaining mental health to friends and family

(9 Posts)
TheEarlOf Mon 24-Jun-13 21:23:55

Those around me must suspect/know I have mental health issues but whenever I try to explain it they just don't understand. I appreciate I am not the most coherent of people but is there any resources out there that could help explain to them, YouTube videos or webpages (none of them will bother getting/reading a book so those are out). Specifically anxiety and depression and the fact that things like change are difficult.

I just feel so isolated and like everything is my fault and I get absolutely brilliant support from the GP and from the health services but in real life I feel so lost and I never want to mention it even to those closest to me because they just turn it back on me and say it's all my fault and I do have a choice and I'm doing these things not so much on purpose but I could easily stop doing them. Apologies for severe lack of punctuation in that last sentence.

TheEarlOf Mon 24-Jun-13 21:43:56

and to be constantly told that they 'can't' undersatnd and that people who've never had any mental disorders just won't be able to.

Sorry for rambling on just feeling a bit sad about the whole thing atm.

TheEarlOf Mon 24-Jun-13 21:50:12

Along with just getting dumped beacuse i can't undersatnd it and we aren't compatible. Great. Fantabulousos day.

TheEarlOf Mon 24-Jun-13 22:07:06

Please someone reply sad Maybe I shoudl post in a higher traffic board

Notsoblonde Tue 25-Jun-13 05:01:50

Sorry your going through this, its rubbish isnt it. dh struggles with understanding my anxiety and says things like just switch it off, but he genuinely doesn't understand. I think there us some stuff on YouTube about anxiety, am sure I have seen a video about it.

monikar Tue 25-Jun-13 15:41:11

TheEarlOf Sorry you are going through this at the moment.

I think a lot of the reason people don't understand mental illness is due to the fact that it is not 'visible' - it's not like a broken arm or something.

There is also the misunderstanding that you somehow have a choice over how you are feeling and that you are wallowing in self-pity and should just 'snap out of it'.

My DH has suffered with depression for many years and I know just what a dreadful illness it can be. I have looked up information online on ways to help him, just by typing in 'helping your partner who has depression' into google, and there have been lots of helpful webistes.

A lot of people were not very sympathetic when DH was diagnosed so I have some understanding of how that feels. I explained to them that depression was due to a chemical imbalance in the brain - it wasn't something that anyone could control in the same way that if you had a thyroid problem you wouldn't have brought it on yourself.

Hope that helps a little.

Apanicaday Fri 28-Jun-13 13:18:58

The Time to Change website has some really good articles and blogs on it about various mental health issues - I've found some of them really helpful when I've been trying to explain about it to others.

AgentZigzag Sat 29-Jun-13 01:54:36

Nothing against the lovely posters here, but I'm sure they'd agree that if you're in need of a chat asap to go to a higher traffic part of MN (as well as on here, there's no limit on how much you can post smile)

I've always found my MH problems to be thrown back in my face in an attempt to discredit whatever I've said. Like whatever I've said (that someone's maybe not liked) is worthless because I'm a Mentalist and my thinking's distorted.

That I'm not allowed to have a legitimate opinion about anything (only used when I'm disagreeing with anyone I've noticed hmm) and my MH probs are a weakness to be called on when someone needs to feel they've been proved to be right.

But then, maybe it's my distorted thinking that's made me paranoid about it all wink (it's not, I can think very clearly thank you very fucking much!)

When I was reading your OP I was thinking I wouldn't bother trying to get them to understand, if they wanted to, they'd go to Dr. Google.

I know you're trying to get support, but will you end up feeling worse because you're trying to get it from people unable/unwilling to give it?

AgentZigzag Sat 29-Jun-13 02:00:31

And try not to take blokey brushing you off as a sign that there must be something wrong with you.

I can't believe DH puts up with me confused but he does, and more to the point, he enjoys spending time with me.

That just wasn't the bloke for you <shrug> his loss, he's not the whole of man-kind and it's not passing a judgement on you/or evidence that nobody will ever love you again.

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