While I am a very sympathetic, sensitive person, I am getting to the point where I have hardened on some things in regards to healing from psychiatric illnesses. Refusing help because you are afraid of stigma is one of the biggest things that rankles my nerves raw.
The stigma is real. I get that. But you’re not helping the stigma by refusing to reach out.
The above quote does not mean you can fix your mental illness through your thinking. It simply means that the way you think about things can help the way you feel about them. I accept my bipolar disorder as any other illness, and because I do, I don’t feel so bad that I have this disorder, which allows me to accept it so that the next time I’m depressed, even severely depressed, I’ll know what I need to do in order to take care of myself.
In any case, by refusing to reach out, you are damning yourself to becoming worse. Close friends and family don’t want to believe in your illness? Seek help elsewhere. This will take work on your part, but you WILL be able to find at least one person willing to listen to you. Even at my severest I found people, people I didn’t know too well, that I was able to talk to and they were able to fuel my thinking about my illness by telling me their stories as well. Hell, go online and reach out through chat groups and allow this reaching out to fuel your thinking.
I know a lot of introverts use the internet as an escape from their illnesses. And that’s great. It’s good to have a blog you can dump your feelings on as a way to find others similar to you. What’s not good is using misery to find misery.
On Tumblr, in the mental illness tags, teens will post incredibly triggering pictures claiming they help them cope. Those pictures are not helping in the least. If they were, you would be getting better. I’m not going to post any of them, but I can tell you triggering pictures are only fueling whatever it is that is going on in your mind that made you post the picture: self-harm, suicidal ideation, anorexia, bulimia, ect…
Pictures like this enrage me because it is almost an active defiance of a refusal to get better. Depression makes you not want to get better because depression doesn’t want you to get better–or mental illness in general–but that is why you have to reach out in a healthy manner. When I was suicidal, I would go to online chat groups with others who were. We wouldn’t even talk about suicide. We would talk about everyday life or how to cope. Heck, what helped me most was helping others who felt on the brink of attempting, and my suicidal feelings would disappear after that. I didn’t let myself stew in those feelings. Why the heck would you want to? They’re terrible.
The point is don’t actively refuse to get help because of your thinking. Stigma be damned. Be one of the ones to help remove stigma from psychiatric illnesses. More and more people are beginning to understand, I can promise you that. People who don’t want to understand aren’t worth it, and you need to realize that.