“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this been happening inside my head?”
“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”
-J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
I love this quote. I use this to remind me, every time someone tells me that my mental illness ‘isn’t real,’ isn’t ‘that bad’ or that I ‘shouldn’t need medication to be normal.’ It is in my head, that is the whole point of mental illness. It is in the name. It is in my head, but it is still real. It causes physical symptoms, but even if it didn’t, it would not be any less real.
I have a mixture of anxiety, depression and OCD. I’ve had these for many years, but they have gotten worse in the past few. My anxiety is the hardest to cope with and it triggers the others too. When I am most anxious, I use my OCD as a coping mechanism, it allows me to be in control of something when I am not in control of my own brain. My anxiety has stopped me from living life, it does it less so now, but for a long period of time I struggled to even leave my bedroom and go to the bathroom on my own. Part of this isolation through fear causes my depression; anxiety and depression are often very closely linked.
I am by no means an authority on mental health issues, I have no training, but I have some experience. I write about mental health, my own issues and coping strategies because I find it is helpful for me to get it out. I hope that someone reading this may realise that they are not alone, other people really do understand and I there is always someone there to listen.