“I’m tired”, “I can’t get up from the bed”, “I can’t do this today” – for some it may sound like a lazy day, for many it’s a reality they live with. People with mental illness don’t say these things because they’re being lazy.
Mental health advocate Pauline Palita posted a Twitter thread, which has since gone viral, explaining why mental illnesses can make people so tired and what they’re actually going through when they say these things.
She explains that sleep is not their best friend and the mental and physical exhaustion just keeps piling up day in and day out. “There are people who for decades don’t feel rested after their slumber,” writes Palita.
It’s not easy to unwind when your brain’s stuck in overdrive. She further explains that “an immense amount of effort goes into focusing on the task they’re supposed to do, while their minds are trying to carry them down other path or while they are struggling to remember just what those tasks are.”
It’s a constant battle in the brain with one’s own thoughts. Their fears may seem silly or irrational to some, and that can get tiring. Don’t trivialise their fears. Understand what they’re dealing with.
She writes: 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.”
And this doesn’t end with mental exhaustion. This struggle takes a toll on a person’s body too.
So, the next time a person struggling with their mental health tells you that they’re tired, here’s what you can do instead of dismissing them as lazy.
Be patient and listen in. Don’t dismiss their problems because they seem trivial to you.
Listen, understand and be there for them.