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How Your Mental Illness Impacts Those Around You

Update Date: Feb 23, 2020 03:50 PM EST
How Your Mental Illness Impacts Those Around You
(Photo : Unsplash)

With mental illness at an all-time high, there has been a surplus of information accessible to the public on various conditions, symptoms, and treatment options. This is great in that it provides people with effective resources they can utilize to seek help and reclaim their lives. What isn't a popular topic of discussion, however, is how mental illnesses such as depression, impact the emotional well-being of those around us. 

In reality, mental illness impacts more than just the person diagnosed with it. It also has a rippled emotional effect on those closest to them. Seeing those that they love go through something so physically and mentally debilitating and feeling powerless against it, can have psychological consequences for your family, friends, co-workers, and others associated with you. 

Having a clear understanding of how conditions such as chronic stress, anxiety, and depression negatively alter the lives of others can not only motivate you to get depression help to take care yourself, but it can also give you the tools necessary to take care of (and possibly even prevent the development of mental illness) those you love in the process. Below, is a look at how your mental illness can impact those around you: 

  • Negative Energy - Those who suffer from depression often exude negative energy which can impact the mood of those around them. When you're feeling down all the time, it shows up in your face, your body, and is even spoken through your words. When you're depressed, you also lose a sense of social connection, compassion, and empathy for others, therefore, causing people to feel closed-off. Think about it, have you ever been having a great time somewhere and then someone comes in who seems mad with the world and has a pessimistic outlook on everything? Automatically, you can feel the vibe in the place go down and after engaging in conversation with them, you too might even start to feel bad about yourself, mad at the world, or feeling less hopeful? 

  • Rejection - Those who suffer from mental illness tend to isolate themselves from the people they once enjoyed being around. While some time alone may be necessary to reflect on your thoughts and heal, when you're constantly avoiding interaction with others it causes them to feel rejected. They begin to look inward to determine why it is that you're no longer interested in being in their presence. This can lead to weakened self-esteem and even abandonment issues depending on the closeness of your relationship (for instance parent-child or spousal relationships). 

  • Anxiety - Your mental illness can cause those closest to you to become anxious. Whether fully aware of your condition or not, your changed behavior causes both worry and fear in those who care about you. They begin walking on eggshells so as not to trigger overwhelming emotions. Some will worry day and night about the changes they're seeing in you. 

  • Hopelessness - From the outside looking in, your family, friends, and co-workers know that something is wrong. They do the best they can to get to the bottom of it including talking to you about it, trying to comfort you, and even trying to lift your spirits. As mental illness often requires time and assistance to get through, their love and support aren't often enough to help you get through. When their efforts do not work, this causes them to feel bad about themselves. It leaves them feeling hopeless to be able to fix whatever is going on with you. 

  • Lack of Self-Care - When you see someone you love going through something on a daily basis, you exhaust all of your efforts to trying to help them. In fact, you begin to care so much about them and how they're doing physically and mentally, that you tend to forget about your own well-being. This is often seen between a parent and child or spouses. They eat poorly or start skipping meals, fall of their exercise routines, hold back on doing things they enjoy, take on your stress, overload themselves with responsibilities, and eventually, this leads to their own physical and psychological deterioration. 

Unlike a cold or flu that only affects you, when you suffer from mental illness, it has an impact on everyone you hold near and dear to you. As you'd never want to see anyone experience what you're going through, it is recommended that you seek treatment right away. What you'll find is that as you start taking care of your mental and physical well-being, it creates a positive effect on those around you who are then inspired to do the same in their own lives. 

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