Do You Feel Guilt From Having a Mental Illness?

Welcome back to this week’s Topic Thursday. Today, we will be answering the question, “Why do I have guilt over my mental illness?”

Do You Suffer From Guilt Due To Mental Illness?

It is difficult to not feel guilty about all the struggles that come with having a mental illness. Those around us are affected by the disease, as much as we are. But, it’s important to understand that you did not choose to have a mental illness. And, having one does not mean that you are a bad person.

Is Your Guilt Justified?

The next thing that needs to be done is to determine if the guilt that you are feeling is justified. Each mental illness is different. For example, anxiety can lead to irritability. During an episode of anxiety, it is possible to lash out at the persons around. The guilt associated with these hurtful behaviors is justified. Whenever the actions of an event create damage, we experience guilt. This is alerting us that we did something wrong. It’s vital to recognize those situations and to apologize.

However, having a mental illness within itself is not a reason to feel guilt. It is not up to us how other people react or respond when learning that you have a mental illness. Many times, having one can make a person feel like a burden because we need help. But, that’s not true. We are not burdens when we need to rely on others. Community is a key to rehabilitation in mental health. Often new mothers that suffer from Postpartum Depression are often too afraid to ask for help because they do not want to impose on another person. Don’t feel embarrassed or ashamed to ask for help.

Mental Illness Is Not A Choice

Mental illness is not a choice but a disease, and it requires different forms of treatments. One part of therapy is self-care. It is not selfish to put the needs of your mental health above others. It’s vital. The mind is a crucial part of mental health, and keeping it healthy means removing triggers. By understanding this, we can remove the guilt. Not only are we improving the vitality of our mind, but we are also reducing the stress that may cause irritability and lashing out.

Most mental disorders can cause disassociation between ourselves and others around us. While suffering from depression, we often feel disinterested and remove ourselves from the world. Mayo Clinic states, “this disorder causes persistent feelings of sadness and loss of interest.” We have no control over how our brain is affected by this disorder. Therefore, there will be moments that we will become distant from the people around us. We will often feel guiltily because we feel responsible for the distance and the effects it has on our inner circle. This guilt is normal and healthy. Reach out to the people that you feel have been abandoned and explain the situation. Be honest. It’s okay to say, “Hey, I’m reaching out to say sorry that I’ve been distant. I’ve been dealing with depression.” After acknowledging this, remove the guilt.

Celebrate The Positive

We must recognize that we are more than the struggles from mental illness. Nobody is perfect, and we are worthy of forgiveness. While understanding that having guilt is healthy, we must be able to acknowledge it and move on. There are times that we will need to rely on others, and there will be times that we hurt others. Be attentive and apologize for the moments that cause pain, and accept the moments of help. But, most importantly, celebrate the positive personal attributes within you.



Add Yours
  1. Despite Pain

    Guilt is such a tough emotion to deal with, isn’t it? You’re right, mental illness is just that – an illness and there’s no reason to feel guilty. I blog about living with chronic pain and often write about guilt. It seems to come along with all health conditions, whether mental or physical. I also agree with your last paragraph – everyone should try to celebrate the positives.
    Excellent post.

  2. The Prepping Wife

    Forgiving ourselves is probably one of the hardest things to do, even without mental illness. People around us don’t always help that either. They think we are just terrible friends or family when we aren’t able to function perfectly or can’t go out when expected. So people call less often. It is a very rough thing. But I don’t think anyone with a mental illness should feel guilty about it, nor should anyone else make them feel guilty either.

  3. Live Well Choose Joy

    I think this is such an important topic to discuss and I think you do a great job of explaining why people should not feel guilty over this and not feel alone. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Kelly Martin

    I don’t think anyone should feel guilty about mental illness. Taking the time for self care and mental health is a necessity, especially in the fast paced world we live in.

  5. Lyosha Varezhkina

    this is such an important post! I know a lot of people take mental illness as something people choose to succumb into, it’s like they are happy with what they have, like they benefit out of it. but it is not true and it is not to be ashamed of

  6. Luna S

    This was a wonderful read, I agree that is hard not to feel guilty or like you are a burden when you area dealing with issues like this. I love that there is more and more support becoming available out there though.

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