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One in every four people have a mental health problem. [1]

The most common mental illnesses are:

  1. Major Depressive Disorder: 2.6 out of 100
  2. Anxiety Disorder: 4.7 out of 100

And no, it’s not imaginary, we ALL have a mental health – our brain is the organ that keeps us alive, it tells our heart to beat and out lungs to breathe.

However, it is common for people with a mental illness to have others.

For example, I was diagnosed with both Major Depressive Disorder (Also referred to as Depression) and Anxiety Disorder (also known as Anxiety).

I was later diagnosed with both Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (also known as OCD) and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (also known as PTSD).

Because of these illnesses, I have conflicts in my head all the time. Some are conflicting thoughts, some are conflicting emotions, some are just conflicting actions.

As an example, while my Depression makes me want to sleep due to it causing tiredness, I have Somniphobia due to my PTSD.

While my Anxiety makes me hate leaving the house or doing certain things, if I don’t do certain things on time my OCD will cause panic attacks due to not completely something on time.

So, now – let me explain what my mental health actually means.

Depression (MDD): This causes me to be very down, low self-esteem, I can’t admire things like most people – for an example, unlike some people I can’t admire sunsets – this example came from Professor Robert Sapolsky from Stanford University! He explains Depression so perfectly. (I will put the link in the Bibliography at the end of the article!)[2]

Anxiety (AD): This causes me to panic a lot, it causes me to stay up at night worrying, it causes me to make mistakes due to acting too quickly, it causes me to have panic attacks, it causes me to be paranoid and jealous, it causes me to have high blood pressure, it causes me to have phobias due to experiences and the list of what happens goes on!

PTSD: This is caused by Traumatic Events in life. I can not and will not go into the events which has caused mine, it is just simple enough to say that it was caused by people and environments which I should not have been around. Due to these experiences I was then left with a mental health problem that will never go away: it feels like I’m being haunted by a ghost; I feel tormented constantly; I get flashbacks which are generally triggered by words, phrases or actions; I have night terrors which wake me up at night and generally cause a panic attack, sometimes I can’t even remember the night terror it just scares the life out of me; and then there is the Somniphobia which means I’m afraid of sleep – which as we have already spoken about, it is problematic due to having Depression which makes me want to sleep all the time; and finally, I get both paranoid and scared in crowded environments – this can be due to the people or just because of noises. I cannot handle loud bags, high pitch beeps, or people laughing. It seriously scares me, some of it can cause a flashback, but most of the time it just causes me to go quite and just hide.

OCD: This is NOT a cleaning disorder! It doesn’t stand for Over Cleaning Disorder or Obsessive Cleaning Disorder, it stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder! It makes me feel anxious if I haven’t done something. For example, I have a time-table in my head – on days which I am going to college, I must have breakfast at 7:30-7:45am, I then have to leave the house by 8am. If I haven’t left by 8:10am I will have a panic attack. I will then arrive at college at around 8:30am, and I will start working at 8:40am, ten minutes before the rest of the class. I will then have a break at 10:40am, 12:40pm, and another at 2:40pm before then going home at 4:20pm. I will arrive home at around 5pm, and go upstairs to use the bathroom. I will arrive in my bedroom at 5:15pm, the reason for this is due to a part of my OCD forcing me to turn the bathroom light off, on, off, on, off, on, and off again before I can leave the bathroom (and before someone says, just go to the bathroom without the light on, I can’t because that makes me anxious too, and when leaving the room, if I have succeeded to use the bathroom without the light, I will have to turn it on in order to continue the ritual of off, on, off, on, off, on, off. After that, I will sit on my bed talking to my partner until around 6:30pm/8pm to get my food. The time gap for food is large due to what we are having – if I cook, I will be eating by 7:15pm, but if my parents cook a roast it could be 8pm before we get any food. After that, I get undressed and get into bed after using the bathroom again. This is usually around 8:30pm after I’ve had a shower at 8pm (usually on the days that we have our evening meal early), and then watch YouTube with my partner until my brain allows me to sleep because I forgot about the fear I was going to have due to my Somniphobia. I usually end up falling to sleep at around 10:30/11:30pm. During the night, if, or more likely when, I have a night terror I will then proceed to go to the bathroom, sneaking past my mother’s room and doing the usual bathroom ritual even though it is probably at around 3am. I often wake up at 1am or 3am due to night terrors, and when I have one it is uncommon for me to get back to sleep before 5am or 6am, if I get back to sleep at all.

And that is my mental health – yeah, pretty weird, right? But that’s what living with a mental health problem is! It’s a lot more common than you originally thought, isn’t it?

And there are a few things you need to remember and consider:

  • There is NO CURE! There is and probably will never be a cure for mental health problems. Anti-depressants don’t make you happy, they don’t stop you from having MDD. They just help you cope with it, but they also don’t work for everyone! I can’t use them due to side effects, I gained weight, had a lower self-esteem, became suicidal, and my depression got worse. Pills can help some people! But Counselling, talk therapy, and other forms of treatment can also help. There will never be a cure, we can only learn to deal with it.
  • Telling someone to ‘Get over it’ or that their mental illness with ‘fade away’ over time, is like telling someone with Autism that they’ll grow out of it, but they won’t! And my mental illnesses won’t fade away. Mental illnesses stay with the sufferer, they never truly leave.
  • Don’t tell someone that others have it worse – that’s adding fuel to the fire or maybe even tightening their noose. Telling someone that someone else has it worse makes the suffer feel bad for thinking that they had a right to feel bad, making them feel even worse. It’s not about who has it worse, it’s not a competition, a chemical imbalance doesn’t care if you have a house or if you’re homeless, it will attack anyone no matter their upbringing or current situation.
  • If someone, a friend or family member, comes to you for help and tells you about what is happening in their lives, don’t shut them down. Listen to them! Give them a shoulder to cry on, hug them, tell them that it will get better but you will be there for them no matter what! Reassure them. If they’ve come to you for help, that shows that they trust you, if you push them away you will lose that trust.

I hope everyone who has read this has learnt something, I know I have. I’ve learnt that I want to meet Professor Robert Sapolsky and give him a hug.

I also hope this has helped someone, maybe not many, but someone.

Take care and have an amazing day!


Castiel Gutierrez ♥


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[1]: Mental Health Statistics take from Mind UK:

[2]: Stanford Professor Robert Sapolsky Depression Lecture: