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By Marizka Coetzer


Mental health issues only seems funny on social media memes

Not understanding mental health issues sucks even more, not only for the person suffering from the symptoms, but also for those around them.

Come ride with me on the crazy train, it is fun they said. Sadly, the ride to insanity is only fun until you go 2007 Britney Spears crazy and shave your head and attack the paparazzi with an umbrella.

Bipolar, anxiety, or any other form of mental health only seems funny on memes shared on social media until you know someone who suffers from it or, better yet, if you fight the demon yourself.

At a very young age, I realised I was different and at times wondered if I may be a “genius” because of all the brilliant ideas brewing in my brain.

Since then the million-dollar ideas have kept flowing and at times occurred on a daily or hourly basis.

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This I labelled as my superpower because for some reason, I was operating at a much higher frequency than my fellow humans, almost like a superhuman.

For some reason, I always have been fast. I walk fast, I talk fast and I think fast. And when you are wonderwoman, you feel like you can conquer the world despite your limitations.

However, it is impossible to keep up with the runaway train of flash thoughts and endless energy and the cargo of other side-superpowers that comes with the package of being superhuman.

After a period of pure ecstasy and levitation, the wheels of the bus inevitably start to come off and it is time for a crash landing.

And according to science, everything that goes up has to come down at some point. The crash landing is similar to a real one.

First, your heart starts to pound, like you are getting a heart attack, followed by sweaty palms and the runaway train of irrational thoughts and the sudden need to escape by any means possible.

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At this stage, it is too late to abort the “self-destruct” mission and the body surrenders to the overwhelming feeling of negative thoughts, paranoia, anxiety and ultimately losing control.

The dust has not settled yet, because next the shock kicks in, along with the other side-effects of hyperventilation, nausea and appetite loss until you reach your final destination at the deep dark pit of depression.

You see mental health is real and sucks.

And not understanding mental health issues sucks even more, not only for the person suffering from the symptoms, but also for those around them.

Recently, a friend also had a breakdown.

Her absolute depression left her in a flat spin where she bit off her plastic finger nails one by one and spat them out on the floor while her partner helplessly watched her crash and burn.

It is not cool, losing your cool, or yourself for that matter.

Google describes bipolar as the dark side of creativity that erupts inside of you when you board the crazy train and only manage to get off from it days later.

ALSO READ: This depression and anxiety app makes getting help easier

Besides, there is nothing wrong with being a “little crazy” and many Hollywood stars such as Marilyn Monroe, actor and kickboxer Jean-Claude van Damme, actress Catherine Zeta-Jones, singers Demi Lovato, Selena Gomez, Kurt Cobain, Mariah Carey, Bebe Rexha, Halsey and Kanye West have come out of the bipolar closet.

This is just another example that the stars are normal and, sometimes, crazy people like you and me.

The important thing is to remember not to be so hard on yourself, or your loved one, suffering from depression or who is bipolar.

Marizka Coetzer poses for a picture at The Citizen offices in Johannesburg, March 2021. Picture: Michel Bega

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