Mental health problems aren’t existing as metaphorical movie references. That’s not real life. They’re not whispered secrets to friends, cold meals left at lunch. You’re never going to find the answers protruding from the cracks of their wrists.
So how can we notice, if there is nobody screaming the truth from a window or stringing the pieces together with graffiti by a sidewalk? We’re just humans after all, maybe we should just wait until our world is full of crumbling minds, and we can easily distinguish who’s broken and who’s not. You’d be surprised, though. Or maybe, you notice. But you tell yourself you’re being paranoid, and shake out the stress the possibility is inflicting. Just how we do when we see the streets lined with homeless people, we manage to persuade ourselves that they will probably use any penny to fill their veins with toxic substances , and walk away with no self doubt, and a purse rattling with change.
Sufferers react differently. It’s so subtle that the majority will never notice. A sharp intake of breath at the talk of a group project. The way the eyes wander across the plates of others. Silence that has taken the place of their terrible jokes. The fear that overflows momentarily when you discuss the possibility of meeting up with friends at a restaurant.
It’s the soul that breaks first. Then the damage will start to seep into their appearance. Unwashed hair. Hair thats been washed too much. It’s discrete, but not invisible.
Changes in behaviour. Fading of a brave voice. Reckless behaviour. Changes of attitude. Not caring, or caring to extremities in sacrifice of their health. Lack of interest, or obsessed.
Subtle – but not invisible.