15 Things I Wish I Could Say About My Mental Illness

There are lots of things I wish I could say out loud about living with mental illness, but for some reason, I can never get the words out when I need to. So, I thought I’d make it a blog post.

Fair warning, some of these get a little sweary, and I should preface this by saying that I am part of the amazing mental health community on Twitter, the vast majority of whom never do any of these. This is more about encountering people who don’t have any personal experience with mental illness.

Anyway, here goes:

  1. I’m not lazy. I’m exhausted.
  2. I’m always trying my best. Every day. Every minute. Please don’t tell me I just need to try harder.
  3. No, I don’t want to go for a fucking walk or take a fucking bath. Fuck off.
  4. I don’t need you to fix me. I need your support to help me fix myself.
  5. I’m ill, not stupid. I’m actually quite intelligent. Don’t patronise me.
  6. No, I’m not thinking about coming off my meds. Why would I stop taking something that’s working at keeping me alive?
  7. No, I didn’t “miss my meds this morning”, I’m just having a bad day, and if you suggest that, you’re probably the reason why.
  8. Similarly, I’m allowed to feel a bit shit without it being linked to my mental illness. Feeling sad or angry or getting pissed off with someone every now and then is totally natural and doesn’t need to be “medicalised” or over-analysed every time, so please don’t dismiss my natural emotions or reactions as always part of my mental illness.
  9. Me feeling low doesn’t mean I’m suicidal, so please don’t assume I am.
  10. Self-harm is not a cry for attention. That’s a fucked up, insulting thing to suggest.
  11. Don’t ask about my scars. It’s blatantly obvious what they are, you don’t need to bring it up.
  12. Just because I talk quite openly about my mental health/illness online doesn’t mean I have to answer every single invasive, personal question I’m asked. I have the right to refuse to answer.
  13. “Presenting well” doesn’t mean I’m actually well. I’m using all my energy to appear well. I will likely crash later. Just bear that in mind.
  14. Just because your friend/family member/colleague with a mental illness says something is one way, doesn’t mean it’s that way for all. Having mental illness doesn’t make us all the same.
  15. I am more than my mental illness. We can talk about other stuff too.

Did any of these resonate with you? What are some of the things you wish you could tell people about your mental health/illness? Let me know in the comments.


15 Things I Wish I Could Say About My Mental Illness (1)



  1. You completely nailed this list. As much as I do find walking and the occasional relaxing bath helpful, those things have to be done on my terms when I’m in the right frame of mind – not just because someone thinks it’s a quick fix. Being open about mental illness online is an important part of what I do, but there are definitely people who see it as an excuse to jump over the lines and ask things I’d rather not discuss.

    Awesome post – thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Ruth 🙂 yes there’s a big difference between being in the right frame of mind for self care, and needing a different kind of support when it’s something more complex. And re: the openness, I think it can be a great thing, but like you said, some people can overstep the boundaries of personal privacy, and it’s important we stay in control of what we choose to divulge. Thanks for reading and commenting! 🙂


  2. This was awesome! I feel the majority of these are in the camp of setting boundaries. Input from friends, family, and the online community can just be too much. They also tend to have a limited understanding yet don’t want to learn either. Bath bombs, kale, and meditation is not the answer to everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! And while bath bombs, kale, and meditation can be great tools to help *facilitate* good mental health and positive self-care, they’re not necessarily the magic fix that some people assume them to be. It’s much more complex than that.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this! I think one of my big fears about talking openly about mental health is if anything is slightly off or wrong based on a normal human reaction of mine, then it’ll be interpreted as something down to mental illness.

    And yes, we don’t need anyone to fix us, we just need support from those we love. That is all.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly, Sophia. It’s sometimes easy to write-off someone’s emotions or words as their mental illness speaking, but that can be incredibly invalidating and harmful. I’m glad you enjoyed the post 😊 keep in touch!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The big one I always end up saying is “No, it never will get ‘better’. This is permanent, incurable, the rest of my life.”

    I have good days, I have bad days, but the cycle is there and not gonna end. My goal in life now is to make my episodes as far apart as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, that’s a very good point, I’m sure it’s very frustrating to keep hearing platitudes about things getting better when you have a lifelong condition. I wish you the best for the good times and bad. Take care.


  5. I love that you did this post! People just don’t get it. I get told by family that exercise will help and I just need to have a stronger will to start doing it. I guess unless you experience it- it is really hard to understand.
    From FibroMomBlog

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I love the list. Honestly, I wish that people didn’t try to tread around my illness, and just say what they mean. Like just because I have struggled with self harm doesn’t mean that you can’t say the word death or cut around me. Just hearing the words is not going to make me want to kill myself, thats not how it works. I’m not made of glass so stop treating me like I am. In fact, my mental illness makes me stronger than others who do not struggle with this can imagine.
    I get that others may not understand how to talk to us, but try to understand; we are people who are at war with ourselves everyday. We are stronger than you realize, don’t treat us like we are weak just because we have a mental illness.

    Liked by 1 person

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