Typically, mental illness is tough to notice. The only way that people know that someone is suffering from mental illness is if they talk about it. Which doesn’t happen all the time. That’s why it sometimes becomes invisible to the public. But there are a few ways to spot it.
Recently, 22-year-old visual artist and mental health advocate Pauline Palita turned to Twitter to let people know a way to spot those who are struggling with mental health. It’s gotten a positive response from people. It’s people like this who push society to talk about mental illness more.
She started her Twitter thread by writing, “Allow me to explain why mental illness can make people so tired. Chances are, if you know someone with a mental disorder or disability, you might have asked them or thought, “why are you tired?”
Pauline notes that when people ask her “how are you doing”, her response is usually “I’m fine, just tired”. People typically accept that reply and for Pauline, saying this isn’t a complaint…rather it’s just a fact of life.
You see, Pauline told Bored Panda, “I’ve been diagnosed with bipolar disorder. I’ve decided to become a mental health advocate because I knew there were a lot of people out there fighting the same silent battles”.
So why are people who have a mental illness always so tired? Well, Pauline explains on her Twitter. She writes, “…These are people whose brains are stuck in overdrive and have a great amount of difficulty unwinding to fall asleep at night”.
She continues, “For the “average” person, it takes seven minutes to fall asleep. Imagine crawling into bed exhausted and it takes an average of an hour to fall asleep, instead of seven minutes. Every nap and bathroom break and the brain relaxation delay begins again”.
Pauline knows all too well about this feeling. She told Bored Panda, “I know how hard it is to deal with this kind of illness, the feeling of not taking your condition seriously…I also know a lot of people out there who don’t have the ability to speak about it..”
Back to her thread on Twitter, Pauline continued, saying “these are people whose sleep is frequently disturbed and who spend their nights tossing and turning instead of resting…” It’s essentially like someone who doesn’t have a mental illness but stays up every night studying and freaking out over an exam.
Pauline continues, “These are people who wake up feeling, at best, slightly more rested than they were when they crawled into bed in the first place- like a battery that has been damaged that never seems to recharge properly…”
She then goes on with her thread giving examples that allow people out there to understand better what those who have a mental illness go through. It gives society more of an awareness of their life and also explains why they are often so incredibly tired.
She wrote: “These are people who put an immense amount of effort into focusing on the tasks they’re supposed to do or perform, while their minds are trying to carry them down other paths or while they are struggling to remember just what those tasks are”.
The National Alliance on Mental Illness notes that approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S experiences mental illness in a given year. Pauline continues her thread, saying “These are people with working memory issues who-from school age on into adulthood-lack the skill to remember multi-step instructions…”.
She also mentioned, “These are people who are in a constant war with other people’s judgment and lack of understanding”. Pauline’s thread made so many people happy. Her message really hit home for many and it made those who had no idea about mental illness more aware.
People commented on her thread on Twitter, saying “excellent thread!” or “the number of people who’ve phased outta my life because they didn’t wanna understand. I hope threads like yours will help them then truth thank you”.