How Communicating With Others Can Help with Mental Illness


Courtesy of Healthy PlaceCourtesy of Healthy Place

Communicating with others about your mental illness is a great way to show others how you are truly feeling and make it understandable for them.

Kylie de Best, Section Editor

Many people around the world suffer from mental illness. With the reports of it consistently increasing, it is something that is slowly starting to become normalized in society. However, many people are often quiet about these issues, which can cause problems if not addressed soon enough. This is why it is very important to talk to somebody else about your mental illness, as it can both benefit you and others.


A reason why you might not see people talk about their mental illness is that they often feel out of place with society and think they are facing their issues alone. However, this is not nearly the case, as the act of sharing what daily life is like can help them and others with the same struggles realize that they’re not alone and that what feels overwhelming is actually normal” (New York Times). It often takes a great weight of relief off of their shoulders knowing they are no longer hiding their issue from society and may come to realize that there are many accepting people out there that are willing to listen to them.


Though at times some can tell when someone is suffering from mental illness, it is not always obvious as they can easily hide their emotions under a forceful grin or conversation to appear to look like they are fine. As a result, nobody will question how they are doing, so they will not get help. However, if the person were to be open about their emotions, they can help others better understand the situation, and find more of a connection with the other person. They may even encourage the other person to speak up about how they feel too, as it is not always easy to talk about how you are feeling or what you are going through.


Another major reason why people don’t discuss their struggles or problems is that they get under the impression that they are overacting and can fix the problem themselves. However, this can often bring more stress to them, as they are trying to figure out what is wrong or how to solve it on their own without advice from their friend or a specialist. They could be making the situation worse, as they are taking the wrong steps in successfully getting over their mental illness.


With this in mind, it is best to overcome your fear and anxieties of talking about your mental health. It can set an example for others and even help you learn more and find answers if you are unsure what your condition is. Many are surprised to find out how many people share common conditions with them, for example, “one study found that the occurrences of Major Depressive Episode in the youth have increased from 11.93% to 12.63% in one year.” Although this is an unfortunate truth we must face, others knowing that they aren’t alone in the situation eliminates the root cause of why so many people don’t seek help as previously mentioned.


Being open with people about this can also fuel better connections with them. Maybe they have noticed something different about you, but you have been denying their concerns. It can stop them from guessing or making assumptions, and make them realize and learn about these conditions too. After all, despite the statistics shown, it isn’t really verbalized often about who has these conditions. In fact, many more people you know may have these conditions but just don’t speak up about it. 


One last reason it is important to communicate to someone about this is that it helps breaks the stigma of mental illness. Typically there is a stigma associated with something when there is a lack of information on it, making it easier for judgment or false assumptions. Bringing up mental health more can help present more facts to the public and make people realize that anyone can have these problems, from a perfectly sociable person to a shy person that might not often talk much.


Especially with quarantine going on and all of the hardships many families are facing, it is important to stay in constant communication with people, even if it is not because of a mental health issue. Norah Li (10) agrees with this, adding that “it shows that they have someone who will always be there for them in case they are ever in need.” Even if it is through a simple phone call or short conversation, communicating with someone about your mental health is vital, and helps bring information and hope in a world full of concern and uncertainty.