Sometimes when experiencing mental illnesses like depression or anxiety or any really we can find it hard to explain how that feels to someone else. My hubby knows that if I reply fine to a question about how I am he understands what it really means is that I am: Feeling Incapable of Normal Emotion. It is so much less stressful than an argument over how what I am saying is not the way I am appearing or acting.
Recently a friend told me he was feeling flat. Saying it can make it weigh on you even heavier and longer because rather than being a momentary feeling it can set in and become the predominant mood. I redefined his flat mood as: Feeling Less Active today. This put a limit on how long he felt flat and meant he had to reassess it each day to see if it was still relevant.
The labels that people give us including our diagnoses can come to define us. Labels can be so destructive that we begin to accept that this is all of us, it can become our identity. We can make situations worse for ourselves when we fail to understand that a mood or feeling is fleeting and that thoughts related to that are just that thoughts. The mood is not set in stone unless we believe it to be and eventually make it so.
I am not saying that you can talk away mental illness. I am saying the words we use to discuss it can have a greater impact than can be conceived when words like lazy are applied to someone with chronic fatigue or depression. We need to watch how we define or allow others to define us.
Sticks and stones may break our bones
But words might really break us