When the enemy is in your mind: Living with mental illness

When the enemy is in your mind: Living with mental illness

Everyone has their own demons to fight. Many people, though, have to fight their demons from within their own minds. One in five Americans suffer from one or more mental illnesses. Worse than that, suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. You don’t have to fight your mental illnesses alone. Here are some ways you can overcome the low moments in your life.


Know you’re not alone.

The most important factor to keep in mind is that you’re not alone in any of this. Even though it may feel as if the entire world is out to get you, there are so many people in your life that love and care for you and will stand with you throughout your fight. Your support system is there to help you through the dark times.


(Flickr/Emily Mitchell)

(Flickr/Emily Mitchell)

Explain how you feel and what you need.

The love and support of those closest to you can only go so far if they don’t know how to help. Take time to sit them down and explain what you’re going through as best you can. Tell them what they can do to help you. Your loved ones want you to be happy, healthy, and safe.


Consider speaking with a professional.

As much support as family and friends can provide, it may not always be enough. It’s important to consult with someone who is knowledgeable on the subject and has the tools to best equip you.


Taking care of yourself.

If a runner were to break his leg, would he immediately get back up and continue running? No, rather he would rest, put extra care into his injured limb, and take time to recover. Mental illnesses should be treated the same way. Don’t push yourself beyond your limits. Take time to rest and recover. Make sure you put in some extra care until you’re able to run again.


Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

The worst thing to do is not ask for help when you need it. If you’re in a serious situation reaching out to someone may be vital — especially if it’s an emergency — don’t be afraid to call a helpline or even 911 in an emergency situation.


If you or someone you know is suffering through a mental illness, take charge of the situation. Know that you are stronger than your illness and it does not control you or your life. Stay strong and keep fighting no matter what. Continue the conversation here, or find me on Twitter @VictoriaRimer

Victoria Rimer

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