Do you or someone you love suffer from some sort of mental illness? Chances are, even if you aren’t aware of it, the answer is yes. Mental disorders are extremely common and affect approximately 54 million Americans each year. Society doesn’t seem to accept mental illness as a legitimate debilitation, and it’s high time that changes. These 18 brave AskReddit users, each diagnosed with a mental illness, discuss the stigma that comes along with their diagnosis that they wish society would move past.

Photo Credit: Odyssey Beta

Photo Credit: Odyssey Beta

1. Highly Aware

“That schizophrenics don’t know they’re schizophrenic. That you’re only crazy if you don’t think you’re crazy. I know very well that my delusions are from my schizophrenia and I’m able to not react dangerously to them because of that, but that doesn’t make them less scary or difficult and it doesn’t make me not schizophrenic.”

2. We Can Disagree And It Has Nothing To Do With My Illness

“Bipolar here. Just because we are having a fight I must be having an episode. This one drives me crazy and I end up being a scapegoat.”

3. It’s Just A Part Of Me

“Depression and anxiety both. I’m so so incredibly sick of people thinking there is one specific thing that leads to my depression, or even my anxiety for that matter…Like, sometimes, I have days where I just feel completely empty, and emotionless, and I have no explanation whatsoever. On those days, I desperately want to be happy, but nothing changes. I could do all of my favorite things and spend time with all of my favorite people, and still feel like shit. Also, sometimes anxiety attacks are completely unprovoked.”

4. Fake It Till You Make It

“Just because I have a good day doesn’t mean I function like that when you don’t see me. Bad days are almost every day. Seeing me for 10 minutes picking up my kid from school occasionally doesn’t mean I am “Just faking it for the disability money.””

5. So. Much. Effort.

“”But you did so good in school and work!”…yeah…faking happiness and holding off my mental breakdown is kind of why I came home and lost it…I’m emotionally tired.”

6. I KNOW

“As someone who has phobias, please stop telling me there’s nothing to be afraid of. I am perfectly aware of that.”

7. That’s Not How It Works

“I’m tired of people thinking I can’t have ADD because I can “focus on a video game” for hours.

That’s not how that works.”

8. Taking A Mental Health Day

“Work stigma, I can call in and say I have a broken arm, I need a few days off, or I have the flu. But I can’t really say I’m in the hospital for depression. I mean I could but when I got back to work it would be all over the workplace and I’d get the raised eyebrows.”

9. Now Why Didn’t I Think Of That?

“”Just don’t think about it.’

Wow, I’m cured! That was easy, now I don’t need these pills.

Also, my mum often thinks of me as a moody cow because I tend to become agitated very easily. Especially as she does things that make it worse and then blames me for how it affects me.”