Opinion: I hate being called a sensitive, delicate flower when I am mentally ill

Mary Duncan

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I never considered myself to be a delicate flower until so many people in my life put me in that box.

“You’re so sensitive,” is something I’ve been hearing all my life since I was a child.

The truth?

I hate sarcasm because I often don’t “get it” and in a world dripping with it, I don’t fare well emotionally.

I take things personally too often.

I cry a lot more than I think I should.

I hate being called sensitive, and often think to myself:

Maybe I’m not sensitive, maybe you’re just a jerk.

But still, the fact remains that I often can’t control my emotions in a way that people without mental health problems deem appropriate.

And people who are sarcastic verging on mean under the guise of being funny don’t help.

I’m not delicate. I’m not sensitive. I’m Mentally Ill.

There is something that a lot of people without mental illness just do not understand, and that it’s that we don’t choose to be this way.

We don’t choose to be weepers and criers, we don’t choose to be dark and morose, we don’t choose to have days where we can’t get out of bed.

Being mentally ill affects chemicals in your brain that can give you inappropriate signals and have you responding to things in ways that seem out of proportion to what happens.

Sometimes we do cry over spilled milk.

Not because we’re sensitive, but because we just can’t fucking help it.

Tome, there’s nothing worse about my mental illness than not being able to control my emotions.

I take a handful of pills every morning in the hopes of controlling my emotions and moods, but they don’t always help.

I try to surround myself with nice, kind, decent people who lift me up instead of drag me down, but that doesn’t always help, either.

The fact remains that my moods are still dictated by what happens around me, which is terrible, not having that feeling of being control but of being exposed to the harsh elements of life, but that’s the way it is.

Sometimes other people are in control of my moods and emotions, and I hate that about myself, which makes things even harder.

I’d like to say that the solution is that people need to be nicer to one another.

But I can’t control what other people say or do, I can only control (or try to control) the way I react to those things.

It’s harder, much harder, when you’re mentally ill.

So I write this as a plea to you, for all of those people in your life who do have mental health problems:

Don’t call us sensitive.

We know we don’t have a good handle on our emotions, even though we’re working so hard every day to control them.

Even when we’re crying, we’re doing the best we can.

So give us a break.

We’re trying.

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I write about relationships and parenting, life, society, people, and sometimes also beer.

Connecticut State
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