Written by Taylor Nicole.
I have been mentally ill my whole life. For as long as I can remember I’ve been struggling with psychotic episodes, panic attacks, depression periods, and so much more. My life is ruled by mental illness. Although I try not to let it define me, I try not to be naive. I know I will suffer with my mental illness forever. One of the ways I cope about my mental illness is by talking about it; through friends, family, support groups, and online. Something peculiar has happened since sharing my illness and my journey though…some people don’t believe me.
I have had several people accuse me of faking my mental illness since going public.
I have had several people accuse me of faking my mental illness since going public. I don’t think it’s about me as much as it is about them. Somewhere down the line they start questioning my credibility. I think it’s because my experiences are so different from anyone else’s. But isn’t that the case with anyone with a mental illness? Everyone is going to experience mental illness very differently. No one person is the same, so why should their experiences be? Maybe when I talk about my episodes they are so different from another person’s episodes that people choose not to believe in my truths and my experiences.
You are discrediting a survivor’s story.
What is so sad to me isn’t the personal attack. It’s the stigma that comes with assuming someone is “faking it.” When you accuse someone of having a fake mental illness you’re just as bad as the people who say mental illness isn’t real. You are discrediting a survivor’s story. You are taking away the very real experiences that someone has. By accusing someone of faking it you are taking away their story.
Do not judge others.
If you really think someone is faking a mental illness it’s best to leave it alone. You don’t know what someone is going through, and just because you can’t comprehend the illness doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Not everybody is going to have the same experience, even if they have the same diagnosis; it’s catered to each individual. People don’t just go around faking mental illness for attention. Mental illness is very scary, and very real. Move forward with compassion for the people you don’t understand. Do not judge others based off your experiences or theirs.