Mental Illness: I'm Sick and Tired of Being Exhausted

When I think of mental illness I wonder if I should have a t-shirt created with a couple choice phrases. The front would state: I am Completely Exhausted. And the back of it? The back of it would state--in bold and angry script, I'm Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired! These phrases have, in part, defined my life. My entire life. Since I was old enough to throw things and scream for hours. Since I was a child. Before they gave me cocktails of medication, age twelve, before I realized that I was sick and tired of being sick and tired--and exhausted!

Yes, mental illness can be exhausting. It is complicated, frustrating, debilitating, full of sadness and often shame (I'll move on to positive prose soon--I promise).

In other words: mental illness isn't a piece of cake. You know this and I know this. We live this, or someone we love lives with mental illness, and it is hard to watch them struggle.

Why is Living With a Mental Illness Exhausting?

Being sick and tired of being exhausted is one battle cry everyone suffering a mental illness can rally around. Why is exhaustion a part of recovery? Read this.It's difficult to write about it in paragraphs, so let me break it down:

> Finding the perfect medication is really difficult. A month can feel like years. A single day weeks.

> Side-effects, side-effects, side-effects! Need I say more? Medication side-effects can cause physical exhaustion. They can also cause mental exhaustion.

> Stress. Being diagnosed with a mental illness is challenging. Stress can make you feel sick. Studies show that stress can even cause physical illness.

> When you are first diagnosed, or in the midst of an episode, the stress of being sick is simply awful. Terrifying.

> Learning to become part of society again is never easy.

> Communicating with and trusting people to alert you to possible symptoms of relapse. Sometimes, you have to put your pride aside and trust people.

And of course...Being sick and tired of being sick and tired is exhausting!

Reality Check: Recovering From Mental Illness is Possible

Despite all the bumps in the road (yes, all of them) recovering from mental illness is not only possible but it is probable. You know the deal: proper medications, a psychiatrist and mental health team who support you, communication and self-care!

It took me a long time to become well, even longer because of the active addiction I experienced, but life isn't as hard anymore. I still need to shuffle around my medication when the fall arrives, but I can live my life now, after years of fear that I would never be able to.

And you can too. We can!

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APA Reference
Jeanne, N. (2012, June 4). Mental Illness: I'm Sick and Tired of Being Exhausted, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 14 from

Author: Natalie Jeanne Champagne

randall ross
July, 8 2012 at 7:39 am

ive been been bipolar 1 since i was born . in the mid sixtys nobody knew watit was there was finaly figured what it was by then it drove my famly nuts putting with perinuia no sleep and ilushiuns i hade rewired all the phones i was sleeping 10hrs a mounth could not hold down jobs it was just terrebl no friends and more stuff that would make a holle book

Jil Sadowsky
July, 6 2012 at 9:24 pm

I found this extremely touching and well-written. I know what you are going through as I have experienced serious mental illness in my family. It is amazing that you are able to put down your feelings this way.
I wish you what you wish yourself.
Jill Sadowsky

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