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
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.