The normal life of someone with mental illness.


Julia Hackeloer

Shedding light on mental health brings awareness to those living with mental or health behvaioral issues. #BreakTheStigma.


“Just be happy” they say. The question of “are you okay?” gets less frequent as people around me expect my careless behavior. Getting out of bed is a chore, and all I can think about is how badly I want to sleep and escape my thoughts. It’s hard to be happy when you can’t feel anything, but the weight of the world sitting upon your shoulders. When doing everything is difficult, I forget to take care of myself. The things that once brought me joy feel the same as everything else. It all feels like nothing, like I’m just taking up space and living through each day because I have to.



I wake up and instantly my thoughts hit me; I’m already overwhelmed with the day ahead. Walking into school, the loud voices of everyone else around me drown out my own. It takes an immense amount of effort just to get out a simple hello to a friend. The second I speak, my thoughts hit me again. “What if my voice sounded weird? Are they laughing at me? Do they even like me?” By the time I get home from a long day of constantly pretending like I feel calm, all I can think about is wanting quiet. The problem is, the second the outside world gets quiet, my thoughts increase in volume. The overthinking keeps going and going until I finally catch a break when I fall asleep. 


Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)

Everyone thinks what I deal with means being a tidy perfectionist. I wish it was that easy. While I know that my thoughts may not be rational, they feel real. When my mind tells me if I don’t clean my room perfectly, a loved one will die, or if I don’t wash my hands that extra time, I will get sick, I believe it. It’s real, and I have to act out on my compulsions or I will be constantly awaiting the next dreadful scenario. Acting out these ultimatums my brain gives me is the only thing that will bring peace to my mind and rid the fear that holds me captive. I can’t focus on anything else but what my brain is telling me – sometimes, screaming at me – and my compulsion. The constant state of panic is draining, and all I want is some sort of control.


Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

My illness is typically seen as an excuse. When I can’t pay attention in school, or to my friends, or focus on anything, people think I’m just saying I have ADHD to be lazy. On a bad day, when someone speaks, all I hear is mumbling. I try to get through my day like anyone else, but I can’t. My mind just won’t let me. Even things I’m passionate about, activities I love, it’s sometimes impossible to get that same feeling I once had. That feeling of interest, wonder and curiosity. It not only affects my life, but others too. Some days I just can’t be there for people the way I want to. It’s difficult to engage and really listen to what they are saying. These days I want to give up and just be alone to avoid constant questioning from others, to avoid the constant stimulation that I just can’t bear to focus on.