The Reality: Living With Mental Illness Sucks!

April 12, 2012 Natalie Jeanne Champagne

Living with chronic mental illness sucks. It can be hard to view it as anything but negative. But there are advantages to mental illness recovery. Take a look.

What a piss-off of a title, right? Sorry! Feel free to skip to some of my more lighthearted posts: I think I have one involving flying a kite and eating three meals a day. But we cannot pretend that living with a mental illness is smooth sailing; it can ruin your life if not treated properly.

Why Living with Mental Illness Sucks

Living with chronic mental illness sucks. It can be hard to view it as anything but negative. But there are advantages to mental illness recovery. Take a look.That title is pretty negative, but in my jaded defense, I considered this one: "Living With Mental Illness Has Negative Implications on The Quality of Our Lives." Right, great! I am in no mood for fancy language when the reality is just that: Sometimes, it bloody well sucks.

As usual, I am writing this for a reason. Yesterday, I took a trip to my beloved (ha!) psychiatrist because I am having trouble staying awake and falling asleep. Eating. Making sense of things. We decide to leave my medication as it is because I am learning, and this is just in my case (don't try this at home type of thing), to wait it out. To wait until my illness decides to recede.

So Does Mental Illness Suck or Is It a Positive Experience?!?

What's worse? Me telling you mental illness can ruin your life, or flipping it over, rolling the dice, and telling you it can have a positive impact? That aside, mental illness can and does have positive aspects--whether we like it or not.

The journey we take to find recovery, to become stable and well, builds character. It teaches us empathy, an important trait, meaning the ability to understand other people based on our own experience, our own pain. Without empathy the world would be a much darker place.

I'm not sure we would want to live in it.

Connecting The Dots From How Mental Illness Sucks to Something Positive

I touched on empathy but there is more to living with mental illness and positivity than that. A whole lot more. More than I can write about. But let's break it down, in bullets nonetheless:

  1. When we struggle with chronic mental illness we appreciate the stability that might come and go, or live with us permanently once we recover;
  2. Because of this, we understand that life will probably never be as bad as it once was. Maybe it ruined our lives for a period of time, but we got better, and better feels good!
  3. We are probably motivated to try new things; things we could not do when ill. Maybe they are little things, perhaps large, but they make us smile nonetheless.
  4. We are humbled. This is similar to empathy but is related more to our inner psyche.

Bottom line: The title was misleading, perhaps, but untreated mental illness can destroy lives. But not forever. The worst parts, the parts where it feel as if it is ruined and we will not ever become well, that is when we pick ourselves back up. That is when we recover from mental illness and claim our lives again.

Live life, for the first time, or as we did before we were ill.

Why Mental Illness Sucks in 15 Seconds or Less

APA Reference
Jeanne, N. (2012, April 12). The Reality: Living With Mental Illness Sucks!, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 18 from

Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne

June, 22 2016 at 7:28 pm

Hi Susan and everybody,
I kind of agree with your daughter on not taking her medication. Maybe the problem is we need to change our views on mental illnesses. They can be linked to something physical.
Mitochondria. Many mitochondrial disease patients are diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia.
I've found treatments can sometimes be worse than the problem. Pretty much all psychotropic medication is addictive/create chemical dependencies (in as they call what normal people call addiction in the psychiatric world)... and are all mitochondria toxic to some extent and very harmful to autonomic nervous system controled in the lower brainstem where the serotonin pathway beggins. Psychotropic medication is easy to start and hell to quit. Been there done that. Two years clean.
And heaven forbid if your daughter has ever been prescribed Paxil. The possible side effect of homocidal ideation makes it Dangerous to society. I personally think it should be slowly taken off the market. Do psychiatrists and general physicians know about it and tell patients about that side effect?
Please look up side effects of any medication you have been prescribed on <a href="" title=""> </a> and please Google search "mitochondria toxic medication" it ain't just psychotropic medication.
Mitochondria toxic psychotropic medication such as antidepressants and mood stabilizers, medication for anxiety, and antipsychotics and cause autonomic dysfunction or in other words dysautonomia and damage the autonomic nervous systems such as the sympathetic nervous system which controls the "fight or flight" response making it go haywire" like in psychosis and parasympathetic nervous system known for controling relaxed states in people/patients with mitochondrial diseases such as MELAS syndrome and Leighs Disease which are from any number of mtDNA mutations or deletions. For a proper diagnosis please contact a geneticist who has real experience with Mito and don't trust doctors who "know mito" it's way to complex a disease. I'm so sick and tired of sacrificing my mental and physical health for doctors who "know mito. " Mito is short for Mitochondrial disease. I know the name doesn't make sense. It's kind of a misnomer. Everyone has and need around 37 trillion functional mitochondria in their body and we need healthy happy mitochondria they control production of ATP. Adenosine Triphosphate). Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Schizophrenia all are commonly diagnosed in Mito patients. Mitochondrial toxicity testing is not a requirement by the FDA. But it desperately needs to be.
Mito is not a waste basket diagnosis. It's real and a killing disease. The number of Infant deaths from Mito are up to about the same as the same number of infant deaths as child cancer. I know about being stigmatized for not only mental illness, but for Mito, and Hearing Impairment, diabetes. Yet, i'm not stigmatized for my low T4 hypothyroid. Something that should be checked out even before psychotropic medication are prescribed. Hypothyroid and depression have almost the same symptoms. And are almost
If you don't believe me, i dare you to research the connection between mental illness and mitochondrial disease for yourself.
You can start by checking out the
And the websites.

April, 14 2016 at 2:14 am

Going through depression myself. Have a daughter who has layers of mental illness that haven't been diagnosed yet. We have been living this for nineteen years. I chose to stay at home and now have a rewarding job in education that pays little. I am dependent on my husband who works to support us. I am emotionally spent, my two other children have had to deal with her constant tantrums and self absorbed world. I do not see any light because she won't take the meds her psychiatrist prescribes. She lies, she can't work or go to school and she loves to start an argument. Her life is hell and therefore mine is. As a Catholic I am supposed to seek hope in every situation. I am supposed to find a way to embrace this situation? There is none. I'm stuck in this hell until the next life. I will get out of this depression that is a result of her verbal abuse when I was stuck in the car with her for two hours. I can never have a relationship with my own daughter whom I have fought for, and loved. Mental illness is maybe the worst diagnosis of any, let alone the stigma. The patient themselves are their own worst enemies, the medical field has no answers and the families are taken advantage of by the psychology field which has many quacks. You can be at such a vulnerable point and their egos cannot admit that they don't have the answers so they bring you down more when you are at your lowest. I will get my energy back and look for a silver lining again, but I am spent and know that the end will only be when I die.

August, 24 2014 at 8:52 am

I can't find any positives with this skitzofrenia... I wish it was just anxiety and depression but skitzos have all of that plus psychosis ... Went to high school and was really popular college took me seven years but I got a degree in what? Film good luck with that in New Hampshire the lamest state in the nation so many creeps ... It doesn't help that the tv sucks and the music and teenagers went Berzelius . All I want to do is drink but guess what my bank account says? 0.00 and no cash either
I'm sitting alone all day in my apt. Nobody wants to talk to me. Not even my family except my divorced dad "sz is the sane response to an insane world" one of the vonneguts

April, 18 2012 at 7:21 pm


In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
April, 20 2012 at 6:30 am

Hi, Beverly:
It can so hard, I realize this. As a person who struggles with chronic mental illness it is difficult to give advice. I live with depression and anxiety: these are related to the illness. Try to keep positive, things will look up, I can promise you that.

Mark Koning (@mark_koning)
April, 13 2012 at 11:29 am

Hi Natalie,
I enjoy reading your posts, they are well written and make a point.
I am a brain injury survivor, hospitalized with a viral infection when I was younger I now live with a learning disability and other challenges. I too feel that what I went through and still go through sucks, but I do see the positive side to things.
It is nice to hear from people (like you) that have similar feelings, that I'm not alone.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
April, 15 2012 at 9:11 am

Thank you for the support I am so glad you enjoy reading them. It makes it worth it:) You have been dealt a hard hand, so to speak, but finding the positive in it makes life an easier place to live in. I am glad we understand this.

Jill Sadowsky
April, 12 2012 at 9:21 pm

Hi Natalie,
I am very impressed with the content of your blogs. I am writing about blame, shame, stigma, discrimination and am trying to get people to join me in an effort to lessen the stigma.
May I use your blog entry posted on April2,2012 'Mental Illness, Stereotypes and Stigma?" Of course I will introduce you and say that I found this on your blog.
I would also like to invite you to write a blog for my website ... see the website above.
I often wonder whether a few of us could get together and during a certain week, get every single person we can, to write letters to people that count in their own country. This could be a world-wide thing. Interested? I live in Israel, tutor English and am a blogging grandmother of five. My son suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and the book I wrote about him; "David's STory" by Jill Sadowsky, is on Amazon's Kindle Store - if you have the time and the inclination.
Take care,

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
April, 13 2012 at 7:48 am

Hi Jill,
Thank you for your kind words about my blog. As a writer and mental health advocate, it’s nice to know that my articles are having a positive impact.
Regarding your request to reprint the articles on your website, unfortunately, HealthyPlace’s copyright policy won’t allow for that. However, you can certainly link to any article on the blog.
I really appreciate your support and will certainly look in "David's STory" and hope others do as well.

April, 12 2012 at 4:13 pm

When I was first diagnosed bipolar, I felt such a sense of relief to know what was wrong with me.There was a name to it and I could recover and get better. Even with the occasional relapse,I know that I will improve. I have found that a have more patience when well, that I can understand others from a different perspective. The disease sucks at times, but there is a lot more to be learned as I live each day.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Natalie Jeanne Champagne
April, 13 2012 at 7:49 am

Hi, Cindy!
I agree that emotion drives impulsive, they seem to go hand-in-hand! I too have reacted in a similar fashion in work situations--it's tough reflecting back on it.
Thank you for your comment!

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