How to Explain the Challenges of Mental Illness

How many of us wake up daily with a routine that has become second nature? We may shower, make our bed, have breakfast, brush our teeth, and head out the door, whether to work, school, or run errands. But many others can’t get out of bed, get dressed, or brush their hair without struggling. Just waking up can be difficult and functioning impossible, which is what living with the challenges of mental illness can feel like.  

So, let’s talk about it more to gain a better understanding.

It Isn’t Intentional

Often there’s this stigma that people living with mental illness can snap out of it, and a matter of will and strength. However, it is much more entailed and is a condition that needs treatment, like any physical one. Therefore, it has nothing to do with a lack of discipline.

Mental illness is an invisible illness, meaning that because it isn’t visible, such as a person in a wheelchair, it doesn’t exist. Still, most scientists believe it comes from the brain and other contributing factors such as genetics and, therefore, is real.

Unfortunately, this is why so many continue to suffer in silence. The stigma often contributes to a person’s feelings of shame and weakness. As it is, many struggle with self-stigma and already question their motivation.

There Are Different Levels of Functioning

Just as individuals with autism can be on the lower or higher end of the spectrum, the same goes for those with mental illness. In other words, you might have someone who can’t get out of bed but another who goes to work daily. Regardless, that doesn’t mean one struggles less than the other.

Many individuals go to work daily and present as happy or highly functioning, only to suffer in silence. Therefore, just because someone looks okay doesn’t mean that’s always the case.  

Remember, no one size fits all.

Who Wants to Live With Mental Illness?

How many people would want to struggle daily with a mental illness? Or how many do we know living with one would tell us they’re happy they do?

It’s hard to visualize anyone waking up happy because they’re anxious or too depressed to leave their bedroom. Or how about the person struggling to leave the house due to extreme panic attacks, causing stomachaches?

Chances are, individuals living with mental health conditions would prefer well-being.  

It Takes More Fighting Than You Think

It may be hard for people to understand why doing basic things like getting dressed would be difficult. But what may seem easy for one can be beyond challenging for someone with mental health issues.

Going from the bed to the couch can be depleting for them, let alone showering or eating. Or they might be so anxious they can’t make a phone call or catch up on their bills. Just facing the day can be unbearable. Therefore, fighting these battles takes more courage and resilience than many realise.

Mental Illness Does Not Mean Hopeless

Although living with mental illness may be a lifelong journey for some, that doesn’t mean it’s hopeless. Individuals with mental illness can learn to live better lives with the proper treatment and support and can function just as well as the next individual.

Many people with mental health conditions have also used their experiences to help others, whether through writing about it or offering peer support. So, as difficult as living with mental illness can be, one can turn it into something positive.

Never underestimate their resilience.

You Are Not Alone

It’s vital to know that you are not alone. Having someone who can relate to your issues and listen without judgment can help relieve your sadness or loneliness. One such place is Barty’s Adventures, where they hold special events and adventures to help men feel better about themselves by keeping active, thus improving mental health. Barty – We Are A Mental Health Initiative

No matter what you’re going through, you deserve to be supported.

Why Not Try Online Therapy?

Hopefully, these points could give some comfort, but sometimes just reading quotes isn’t enough. Online therapy can be a great option if you or a loved one is looking for more support.

Therapy through can be more affordable than traditional therapy and allows many options to communicate with your therapist from the comfort of your home. Most importantly, remember that it is okay not to be okay, and you are no less of a human for feeling your emotions and being vulnerable.

To receive 25% off your first month, head to

Feel free to drop by if you’d like to chat and just say, ‘Hey Barty’ in strict confidence, and you can be anonymous if you wish. Or do not hesitate to leave a comment below.

Sandy Glover

Sandy is the resident mental health professional at Barty. She previously worked as a therapist, earning a bachelor's degree in psychology and a master's in counselling. Sandy has transitioned to becoming a peer presenter at several mental health settings through NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness). Her passion for mental health is evident in her writing as a subject matter expert who draws from personal experience, professional expertise, and education to help eliminate stigma.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Product has been added

No products in the cart.

Explore Food Items