Inspired Forward is an Amazon Affiliate partner, as well as an affiliate partner with other bloggers and affiliate programs. We may receive a commission from products purchased through affiliate links in this post.
Hopefully, you clicked on this story because you too are slightly outraged that people still exist who think that people actually choose to be mentally ill.
Or maybe you clicked thinking that you want to prove me wrong. That those of us with mental problems do, in fact, choose them.
Maybe you think things like this:
- That we choose our anxiety, depression, bipolar, and schizophrenia.
- That addicts choose to be addicts, or that people who OD (like Demi Lovato) do it by choice.
- That we ruin our lives on purpose, by design, because our anxiety or depression or attempts of suicide is the result of poor choices.
I have some words for you.
But first, let me ask you some questions.
Is a family member of yours currently going through some issues you think should be easy to handle, but they’re struggling?
Do you look at mentally ill people and think, “that would never happen to me. I make good choices.”?
Did you grow up with parents (or an entire generation) who told you that people with mental problems are weak–and believe them?
If you answered “Yes” to any of those questions, congratulations.
I’m not going to beat you over the head with it, but for those of us with anxiety, depression, bipolar, and on down the DSM V list of diagnosable mental disorders, we didn’t choose this.
If I could choose to rid myself of my anxiety, I would.
Did you know high levels of anxiety increase cortisol, the stress hormone? And that high levels of cortisol can lead to an early death?
Fortunately for us, therapists and resources, like the Anxiety Pocket eWorkbook, exist.
If close friends of mine could choose to never be anxious, depressed, or suffer from OCD again, don’t you think they’d do that?
What about the people with Dissociative Identity Disorder, otherwise known as having multiple personalities?
How is any of this a choice?
On July 24th, Demi Lovato overdosed on Oxycodone. It’s extremely unlikely she did it on purpose because they found it was also laced with fentanyl, which is what killed Prince, Tom Petty, and Lil Peep.
She’s self-admitted drug abuse in the past and has even checked herself into rehab.
But addiction is not something that goes away on its own.
Alcoholics Anonymous helps turn alcoholics into “recovered” alcoholics. But nothing is stopping those people from relapsing besides the construction of new habits.
Demi has a long road ahead of her, and she fully acknowledges that.
So if you still think that addiction, anxiety, depression, psychosis, bipolar, and the rest are choices, please consider this:
If you found yourself unable to operate a car after a car accident because of an overwhelming sense of terror when you slide into the driver’s seat, wouldn’t you want someone to help you get past that?
Do you think you’d be able to just choose for that immobilizing fear to go away?
Because we can’t.
We can’t just wish it away.
It takes therapy, maybe medication, coping techniques, and a boatload of support to get through each day.
It’s not a choice, so stop saying it is.