How to Deal With Having a Mental Illness

Written by Dominique Bancey– Dominique Bancey is the writer of our new column The Thought Banc, where she writes on all things mental health and black culture.

Having a mental illness is a very serious thing. Many individuals have one, or a mixture of some, and they don’t even know. Others are aware that they have it, but either they aren’t sure how to deal with it, or they actually don’t want to. There isn’t a straight and narrow way to deal with mental illnesses. There isn’t a perfect, dictionary way to go about it. Some things work for some people, while others just don’t.

Even though it may be hard to deal with it, you still have to cope with it. Here are some tips to follow, whether you’re the one with a mental illness, or you know someone who does:

Don’t allow others to belittle/look down on you.

When dealing with a mental illness, you already tend to belittle/look down on yourself, so then it’s even easier for others to do so. However, you having a mental illness doesn’t give anyone the permission to treat you worse than how you’re already feeling. Many times you’re flattered by the attention you receive from the individual, and they may tell you the exact things you want to hear, but if you do realize that they are treating you badly, let them go.

Find someone who accepts you.
Having someone who fully understands (or tries to understand) is a huge thing for someone with a mental illness. It’s the worst when you find someone, only for them to shatter your heart because they aren’t willing to be there for you. Be careful with who you let in, so they cannot damage you.
Get support.
Whether through a support group, or simply speaking with a therapist/someone you feel comfortable with, do so. Many times you’ll feel like you don’t want to talk about how you’re feeling. But you’d be surprised as to just how much you’ll talk about it when you’re completely comfortable.

Living with a mental illness is a struggle, especially when you’re doing it on your own. There are many other ways to cope and somewhat deal with your illness, these three (3) are just a start. I hope this helped in some way for you.

Until next time.

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