I’m fortunate in that my friends are all very open about their particular illnesses. And when one of them was detailing the ways she was currently feeling, the only thing I could think of saying was “brains are jerks.” We’ve since used the term “jerk brain” as a catch-all term. (Although my ADHD is “troll brain.”) It’s also a good term since so many of these illnesses are co-morbid, meaning you might have anxiety but you’re depressed because of it. It allows for discussion without having to get into specifics if we don’t want.
Despite the silly name we’ve given mental illness, it’s a serious issue. It’s something that affects all of us. Nearly one in five American adults battle mental illness each year. Even if you don’t personally suffer from one of the diseases under this umbrella, you’re likely connected to someone who does.
People with jerk brains aren’t likely to reach out to anyone. Because their brains are telling them they aren’t worth it. So if you know of a friend who has jerk brain, you have to reach out to them. Ask them if they’re eating. Ask them how they’re feeling. Think of specific tasks you can do for them, and offer to do them. Be the one to initiate these things.
Note: I am not a doctor or a medical professional. And these are just things I’ve found useful to help my friends.