Mental illness is not a weakness. It comes with many strengths marked by the label “disability.” On tough days when you’re feeling like you’ve been dealt the losing hand, remember these three things.
Living with a mood or personality disorder, emotions can feel like anything but a strength. Depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder, and more center around extreme emotional states. Feelings are not facts, yet, feelings feel like the most factual part of life. Being emotional is a strength most don’t recognize. Too many people are incapable of connecting to their emotions. While they certainly feel, they do not feel with the depth as someone living with a mental illness. More importantly, they often cannot identify what it is they are feeling. Being treated for mental illness, either with a therapist or in a treatment program, involves a lot of feelings-talk, including identifying the specifics. Emotional articulation is a trait of maturity and development that most never reach.
Hearing, “You’re too sensitive” is something someone living with a mental illness hears far more frequently than they should. As if it were an incriminating accusation, sensitivity is stigmatized to be a weakness. People could use to be a little more sensitive, in the right ways. By definition, to be sensitive means to be “quick to detect or respond to slight changes, signals, or influences” it als means “having or displaying a quick and delicate appreciation of others’ feelings. While being sensitive seems like being acutely responsive, it actually means having a sharpened awareness of what is going on in the surrounding environment.
Feeling different from everyone else can be isolating. Wanting to be “a part of” instead of “apart from” is a basic social desire. In a world that at once says “be yourself’ while making sure to “fit in with everyone else” it can be challenging to navigate how much individuality is a good thing or a bad thing- if there was such a thing. Living with mental illness usually means learning some mindfulness techniques which are helpful coping mechanism.s One of these practices includes being non-judgmental. By learning not to judge the self, others can be accepted as well. There is no one who is exactly the same as everyone else. What mental illness might set as different, actually dignifies as special.
Avalon By The Sea wants to help empower our clients to live their best lives possible, no matter the mental illness they are living with. As one of California’s only certified mental health treatment centers, we provide primary care for mental illness as a primary diagnosis. For a confidential assessment and more information on our programs, call 1 888-958-7511.