Outward symptoms of mental illness can be scary, I get it. But mental illness can also be really scary. When you’re in a place where it is expressing outwardly, that’s sometimes a really, really scary place to be. I have been a shouter on a street corner and it is not pleasant because there is a part of you that is screaming in terror and longing for someone to come help. But you can’t say ‘help me’ because you don’t know what help looks like, you think you don’t deserve help, you’re afraid that ‘help’ might take a form that actually hurts you, so instead you shuffle through life, invisible, thinking this can’t be the only way.
And especially this:
The funny thing about bottling up self-expression is that it can become highly explosive under pressure. The longer you front, the longer you act sane, the longer you pretend so you can ‘integrate,’ the harder it can become to manage your mental illness. And the lower your self-esteem sinks, because you’re reminded on a regular basis that you aren’t a real person, someone who deserves equal footing in society. You’re either a pretender who fakes it, or one of those scary crazy people that everyone politely pretends doesn’t exist, because confronting the reality of mental illness is too much for them.