Woman With Mental Illness Explains Why Depression And Other Illnesses Make People So Tired

Mental health and illness are so viciously stigmatized that at times it can be hard for the average person to fully comprehend what goes on inside the mind of someone suffering from any number of mental disorders, as well as the signs and symptoms associated with them.

According to the National Alliance on Mental Illness, 20 percent of adults in the U.S. experience mental illness. These can include depression, bipolar disorder, and other major mood disorders. And if you’ve ever talked with a mental illness sufferer, you might have heard them utter the phrase, “I’m tired” without giving it much thought, but extreme tiredness and fatigue can often be a major indication of mental illness or it could be a sign of something more physical such as chronic fatigue syndrome.

Visual artist and mental health advocate Pauline Palita has taken to social media to explain what it’s like to be tired all the time due to mental illness.

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These are people who put an immense amount of effort into focusing on the task they’re supposed to do or perform, while their minds are trying to carry them down other paths or while they are struggling to remember just what those tasks are.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are are people with working memory issues who — from school age on into adulthood — lack the skill to remember multi-step instructions in a world where they’re just expected to know how to do it.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are ppl who are in a constant war w/their own brain, ppl who are battling their own thoughts & fears; hearing every day from their brains they arent good enough,strong enough,skinny enough,that ppl dont like them or that they should hav done better just to list a few things

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are people who are in a constant war with other people’s judgment and lack of understanding.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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Who are often asked questions or who hear comments like, “Why are you always tired?” “Just suck it up deal with it,” “It’s just a lack of discipline,” “It’s all in your head,” “Stop being so pessimistic” and “Stop being so lazy.”

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are ppl who experience sensory overload that mentally exhausts them. From the clothing they are expected to wear, the food they are expected to eat, the noise around them, the sights engulfing them & the odors surrounding them, these ppl’s senses are constantly under attack

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are people who are exhausted from self-advocating to people who don’t understand and don’t care to understand.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are people who spend most of every day dealing with fears that others sometimes find silly and irrational.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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It’s like living on a rope bridge swaying in the wind over a canyon while you’re afraid of heights, and hearing, “I don’t understand what you’re complaining about, the bridge is secure. Suck it up and deal with it. I can do it, so you can too.”

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are ppl who are struggling to communicate their experiences bcoz communication is a skill that needs to be taught and exercised.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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It’s like those who don’t have a strong artistic talent being instructed to create a sculpture using the items around you to present how they currently feel within the next five minutes.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are people who expel a large amount of energy trying to understand body language and emotions. It would be like showing you a picture of my cat and expecting you to identify what he’s feeling based on his facial expression and pose within minutes, multiple times a day

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are people who are tired from the side-effects of medication, or self-medicating to cope with the symptoms of their diagnosis and the expectations of society.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are ppl who are struggling w/their brains to differentiate whats real and whats not, bcoz their brains present everything to them as reality.
These are ppl who hav physical manifestations from their mental struggles bcoz being on high alert takes a physical toll on a person

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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These are people whose muscles ache constantly or whose muscles are tired from being tense too often, who get frequent headaches or migraines, whose appetite is affected and whose immune system becomes impaired… just to name a few things.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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When someone tells you they’re tired, sometimes you need to look beyond their answer. Are they tired? Are they physically tired and need some sleep? Or do they in fact need you.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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Do they need somebody to look them in the eyes and tell them they’re not fine but that you’re there for them? Do they need someone to realize they’re not OK and to offer them a hug? Because I know when I say I’m tired, that’s what I need.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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So please, the next time someone with an invisible disability says that they’re tired, please don’t treat them as if they’re lazy or irrational.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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Instead, imagine living your life on a rope bridge over a canyon, or imagine how you would feel if someone jabbed you and woke you up several times a night for just one year, and the physical and mental impact it would have on you.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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I beg of you, on behalf of all of us fighting our own silent battles, please be patient and empathetic. Just because you don’t experience it doesn’t mean that it’s not a reality for someone else.

— ⓟⓐⓛⓘⓣⓢ™ (@PJ_Palits) January 20, 2018

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