Just about everytime I go to see my shrink he asks me if anyone in my personal life has noticed any changes.
It is a weird question to me because the answer is always no. No one has ever once mentioned to me that I am acting differently or that they are worried or anything. Not once, not in my entire life, no matter how depressed, or suicidal, or manic, or anything.
People have commented on how ‘normal’ I was, that happens all the time, actually. People will say things to me like ‘I didn’t like the way that medication made you act’, or ‘I’m glad to see you are back to normal’ even though they said not one word when I was acting weird or not being ‘normal’.
And when I say anyone, I mean literally anyone. Not my family or my friends or my coworkers or even my wife has ever ventured a guess at me being suicidal or just down or slightly off my rocker in any way.
A lot of the times I notice it. I look at myself and think ‘what the hell are you doing right now?’ or ‘it has been a rough week, hasn’t it?’ I will say one thing though, it is much easier to spot depression than mania. I can almost never tell when I am moving towards mania. It takes me a week or two to see it. I don’t know why. Depression I can see coming from a mile away.
But apparently no one else can see it in me.
Am I just a good actor? Am I not very open, regardless of how I am feeling? Am I sort of detached at all times? Is everyone scared that by mentioning it they will make it worse? Are my symptoms so manageable that they don’t really even exist? I have no real answers for those questions.
If you are someone who has noticed or suspected or questioned a change in me and haven’t said something in the past, please, say something in the future. It helps to have someone recognize something in me. It helps to know people notice me. It may help me realize something I hadn’t. It may help stall or alleviate some of the problems. It certainly cannot hurt anything. I think it is pretty obvious with this blog that I am more than willing to talk about this stuff.
So say something. And not just to me but to anyone you know, whether you do or don’t know if they suffer from a mental illness. Everyone likes to know that people are looking at them, right?