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Living with Mental Illness: World Mental Health Day 2014

Living with Mental Illness: World Mental Health Day 2014

Living with any mental illness is never easy. Nowhere is this more true that when a person has to deal with the likes of schizophrenia, depression or bipolar disorder.

Sometimes treatments don’t seem to work as effectively as promised. Other times we run into friends or family members just not really knowing how to act around you. It can be overwhelming, challenging, and frustrating — all in the scope of one day.

Over the past two decades, we’ve made great strides in people understanding that mental illness is not due to a personal failing or just some problem that we self-created. While I wouldn’t characterize stigma as being dead when it comes to mental illness, I will say it’s taken quite a beating with empathy, understanding and knowledge.

Living with mental illness day in and day out is something I hope none of you will ever have to experience. But if you do — or know of a loved one who’s grappling with one — I hope these words may help a bit.

There are too many challenges to list when living with a mental illness, but here are a few of the more common ones:

  • What do you do when treatment stops working, or becomes less effective over time?
  • How do you have that conversation with your friend or co-worker about your mental illness?
  • How do you tell your family (or do you at all)? How much should you share with them??
  • What do you do when your treatment providers minimize your pain or feelings?
  • What do you do when your therapist decides it’s time to end therapy, but you don’t feel ready yet?
  • How do you manage to hold down a job when you oftentimes feel like your symptoms are barely in check?
  • How do you deal with the ups and downs of your illness, where on some days you feel something close to “normal” and other days, you just want everyone to leave you alone?

For some of these questions, there is one or “right” answer to them. Some of it will depend on how you’re feeling, what your relationship with others is, etc.

But we’ve tried, nonetheless, to try and capture some of these “living with…” issues here at Psych Central. We’re going to be growing and adding to these sections in the upcoming months, because we know that living with a mental illness can be even more challenging than your initial diagnosis and treatment for one.

Living with a Mental Illness Series

4th-world--mental-health-dayWe have these articles to help you get started:

We’re going to continue to add new disorders to this list, as well as expand upon these sections to help people not just live with a disorder, but also thrive while living.

I also want to highlight two stories I think you should especially read, given that this year’s World Mental Health Day topic is “Living with Schizophrenia:”

I hope this helps people living with a mental illness to get a step headed in the right direction.

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Our World Mental Health Day Blog Party is Today

Live! For more World Mental Health Day 2014 posts, please check out the blog party!

Living with Mental Illness: World Mental Health Day 2014

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder of Psych Central. He is a psychologist, author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues since 1995. Dr. Grohol has a Master's degree and doctorate in clinical psychology from Nova Southeastern University. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member of the Society for Participatory Medicine. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.

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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Living with Mental Illness: World Mental Health Day 2014. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 1, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018 (Originally: 10 Oct 2014)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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