Knowing Someone With A Mental Illness

Guest post by Tom, my best friend

Whilst I was at school in Sixth Form, about 3 years ago, I met a girl known as Sophie, she looked like your average fun loving girl, but when she wasn’t with her friends the mood was different. Having just met Sophie I didn’t know about these hidden problems that where on the inside slowly eating away at her and it wasn’t until around a year later when she had finally decided to confide in me her deep secrets. I didn’t know what I was getting in to…

What I didn’t know about Sophie was that she suffered from multiple mental health problems, as you would of read about in her blog. Knowing that she trusted me enough to tell me what was/is going on I didn’t know how to feel, at first I felt really worried about what she might do next but at the same time I felt really good knowing if she needed someone to talk to, I was always there, come rain or shine, day or night.

The biggest problem was working out when something was wrong, we would try and talk as often as we could on Facebook, at school or even texting, but that didn’t always mean she was honest because she was extremely good at hiding the problems and as Sophie once said, she wasn’t always honest because she didn’t want to worry anyone, but knowing that she could be lying worried me even more, which again made it difficult on me because I did not know what was the truth and what was lies.

What I didn’t think about when agreeing to be by Sophie’s side when things where hard, was myself and I feel everyone in my position makes the same mistake. Whilst also trying to help Sophie, I was juggling my school work, my problems and a death in my family. With everything that was going on and trying to make sure Sophie didn’t do anything she’d regret, I had days where I would just break down and cry, I’m sure I even cried at school because of a conversation with Sophie the day before and then her not showing up the following day my mind just starts filling in the blanks with its own ideas. Thank god my mind is always wrong.

Attending my family members funeral, one of the things that popped into my mind a couple of times “what if the next funeral I attended was Sophie’s?” I’m so glad I my mind was never right.

Something else she was good at was hiding the scars, she has moved away now so I am not sure if she still hides them, but if she didn’t tell you, you did not know about the scars.

One last thing before I wrap this up, think before you say anything to anyone, you don’t know what their situation is, you never know if they are fine or if they have mental health problems because this is a hidden problem which you don’t know about. It affects anyone, tall, short, skinny, fat, black or white. Just think.



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