This post has been sitting in my drafts for ages and brewing in my mind for even longer. It’s been one of the hardest posts to write, it’s such a heavy subject and I really want to do it justice. It’s so important and I want to start a conversation about it.
Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed of. Neither is talking about it.
Full disclosure – I have not been clinically diagnosed with anxiety or depression. I was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa a couple years ago. I’m also not a doctor, counsellor, or have any certifications at all. I am speaking from experience as someone who struggles with mental health issues and has people in my life who have as well.
As someone who deals with my own mental health issues and has loved ones who also struggling with mental illness – I know it’s hard. It’s hard to know how to help, react, love, and support those who are struggling with mental illness. It’s not something that’s talked about enough, but it’s so important. So I wanted to share some tips and tricks that friends have used to support me and that I’ve learned while trying to support my friends. I also reached out to a few people and asked on social media for advice to try to share a well rounded list of tips and advice. Thank you to everyone who replied to my Instagram story – the response was incredible and so helpful.
Another disclaimer: this is mostly focused on supporting those with depression, anxiety, and eating disorders. I know there are many more mental illnesses that this doesn’t touch on, but they are not issues I feel comfortable speaking out on as I haven’t had experience.