10 Mental Illnesses that We Don’t Like to Talk About

The goal of this blog, Getting High on Recovery, is to share about our recovery experiences. Most of what we talk about on this blog is about four disorders: addiction, depression, anxiety and trauma. The article below is excerpted from a longer article by Sarah Schuster, on The Mighty. Click this link to go to the original article where you will find links and more information for each of the disorders.

1. Borderline Personality Disorder

“The stigma is so awful that many mental health professionals don’t even want to work with us. We are kind, compassionate people, who feel everything very deeply.” — Lauren C.

2. Complex Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD)

“C-PTSD (Complex PTSD). I was never in a physical war, so people assume I can’t have it. They say it couldn’t have been that bad and call me lucky. No one knows what I went though as a child and adult and how it affects me today when everything is fight or flight on a daily basis.” — Megan K.

“I have PTSD due to childhood bullying, but everyone thinks of guns and major accidents causing PTSD. It’s not like that for me though. I literally panic if I see anyone who looks like the person and have panic attacks if in close contact with them.” — Jess H.

3. Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID)

“For some people, the only ‘awareness’ of DID they get is from movies that focus on someone with DID as a killer. I still see people using outdated terminology such as ‘multiple personality’ or ‘split personality’ — both of which are incorrect. DID gets treated as entertainment for horror or drama films and in real life is treated by society with such ignorance. A lot of people who are not trained in trauma-related disorders seem to have a lot to say about the validity of this specific disorder, even if they can’t be bothered to do any actual reading or research on it.” — Megan S.

4. Eating Disorders

“Everyone with an eating disorder is not a skinny, white, teenage girl.” — Benji Y.

“Despite OSFED (Other Specified Feeding and Eating Disorders) being just as common, almost no one has heard of it. Even medical professionals overlook eating disorders if you don’t fit into the neat little boxes. This means people with anorexia who are males may be overlooked. People who have any of the other eating disorders are almost never believed… And everyone with an eating disorder is not a skinny, white, teenage girl.” — Benji Y.

“Binge-eating disorder. It’s hard to find blogs, videos or other media discussing it because of the shame associated with the disorder. There is also the issue with size. People are misinformed about size. Not all people who have the disorder are overweight, and those who are deserve treatment just like everyone else. No, their health problems aren’t their fault.” — Monica S.

5. Schizophrenia

“Highly stigmatized, and people don’t know how to even touch the subject. If someone has a hallucination, people often bring it more to life, asking who/what/where it is, attempting to interact with it, the whole bit.” — Siobhan N.

“I wish people realized people with schizophrenia are people and not their illness. That it’s just an illness of the mind. Not a flaw in being a person.” — Becky R. 

6. Agoraphobia

“The anxiety of knowing you’re not in control of your panic and the only way to control it is to avoid the triggers. For some, this avoidance demands one stay at home to avoid these debilitating feelings and fears.” — Emmie E.

It’s not about being scared to leave the house; it’s about avoiding triggers of panic, of being ‘stuck’ and unable to ‘escape.’ It’s anxiety of anxiety. It’s isolation to the home because that becomes the only ‘safe’ place away from the panic and resulting embarrassment and humiliation of having a panic attack in public. The anxiety of knowing you’re not in control of your panic and the only way to control it is to avoid the triggers. For some, this avoidance demands one stay at home to avoid these debilitating feelings and fears.” — Emmie E.

7. Avoidant Personality Disorder

“Avoidant personality disorder. Only two percent of the population is estimated to have it, but it likely goes under-diagnosed because no one knows about it, but so many people who could have it are already so withdrawn that it really needs more awareness.” — Jessica C.

8. Selective Mutism

“An extreme shyness anxiety disorder people often don’t know too much about and children end up adults not being able to talk to people or communicate without the proper help and therapy.” — Caitlin H.

9. Harm OCD

“Harm OCD — really, any form of OCD that isn’t associated with cleanliness and hygiene could use more coverage. Not to minimize how serious that kind of OCD can be, but when you tell someone you have OCD, their first assumption is you’re ‘super organized’ or can’t stand to touch door handles. There’s a spectrum. People need to understand that.” — Kristy H.

10. Schizoaffective Disorder

“I didn’t even know the disorder existed until I was diagnosed in the psych ward. And then to top it all off, they never even explained to me what it meant. It took a lot research to figure out what the hell that meant. It’s more than just schizophrenia because regular schizophrenia doesn’t deal with the mood, while schizoaffective does.” — Brianna P.

Excerpted from The Mighty, “15 Types of Mental Illness We Don’t Talk About” by Sarah Schuster

Keep it Real

Photos by Oliver HaeAlexander Mils, and Maria Badasian on Unsplash

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