A girl with too many thoughts...

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Mental Health Vs. Physical Health?

This year, I hope to secure a place at University and start studying for my Psychology degree in September. Obviously, due to my mental health conditions, I have several concerns when it comes to living away from home and becoming completely independent.

In terms of OCD, the idea of sharing facilities with other students (such as a kitchen) is slightly worrying to me - so I plan to make this experience as easy as possible. This means having to make various arrangements with the University regarding my medical conditions and possible accommodation needs.

However, this process really hasn't been as smooth as I was hoping. Something which has become clear to me, is that mental health conditions aren't necessarily treated with the same urgency as physical conditions. If you were to say you required something due to something physical, it would go without saying that this must be provided. However, it is almost like if you say you need something specific due to a mental condition, you are just making a fuss.

Perhaps this is just my perception, but I seem to get the impression that people think I'm just being awkward. In reality, I really wish I didn't need to make people go out of their way to ensure that I can cope with my mental health conditions when I am at University. I, more than anyone, feel as though I am being stupid, being a burden, making a fuss etc.

Despite this, it doesn't change the fact that these mental health conditions really do exist, and however irrational it may seem to others, they do impact my life and effect my ability to do things that everyone else my age finds normal. Just as with any physical condition, my mental health conditions mean I may need extra help and support to be a functioning member of society.

Physical conditions are sometimes put on a pedestal over mental conditions. They may be considered more genuine because it is possible to actually see the effects of the condition, something which is not always the case with mental health disorders.

Here we go with the cliché analogy again, but if you could see somebody had a broken leg, you wouldn't accuse them of making a fuss if they said they couldn't run a marathon. However, if somebody with depression said they couldn't make it into work because of how they feel, well surely they are just overreacting?

I, for one, know how irrational and ridiculous my mental health disorders seem to others. I often feel ashamed and embarrassed to admit some of the things I struggle with, due to OCD or social anxiety. However, it is just how it is and more people need to realise that mental health conditions are just as real as physical conditions, even if you can't see them.

I would also just like to say here that I am by no means belittling physical conditions. All I am trying to get across is that, whilst physical conditions are recognised for impacting the lives of those who suffer from them, this is not always the case with mental health conditions.

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