I have bipolar disorder along with depression, PTSD, borderline personality disorder, anxiety and panic attacks.
I take medication for bipolar. But I constantly live in a world where my depression is always there in a very mild form. It never goes away. It’s like my shadow or a faithful dog always by my side.
Sometimes, I feel comfortable telling people about my mental health. For this answer, I will only focus on their misconceptions.
- Some people think I just need Jesus and not medicine. They believe medicine is a conspiracy designed by the pharmaceutical industry. But I know they would never say that to someone on cancer, heart, kidney or HIV medication.
- Everything that I do or say is tied back to depression. People don’t understand that I can do or say something without it being directly connected to depression.
- Certain individuals would tell me to just move around and be active to cure my depression. They didn’t understand that it’s a chemical imbalance and genetics causing my condition.
- I would be told to think happy thoughts. The rationale was that my mind was depressed for thinking negative thoughts.
- Based on the above point, I would be told to pray and read my bible. The rationale was that prayer and the bible alone would heal my negative thoughts.
- I had family members that felt that I used depression for attention. In the end, an Uncle apologized for his ignorance concerning mental health in front of our family at a family function. That really impressed me. It made my love and respect for him grow stronger.
- Many people believe you can just snap out of it. That’s like telling someone to lower their blood pressure.
- In the Black community, many people believe depression (or any mental health condition) is proof that you are owned and controlled by Satan.
- In the Black community, many people believe only white people suffer from depression and other forms of mental health issues. The thought is that Black people are strong, thus not susceptible like whites. These types of thoughts can leave Black people with mental health issues ostracized and demonized by other Black people.