I understand that this may seem like a strange concept to some, but I cannot stress this enough…

Mental health struggles are not a competition, so stop turning them into one. Please, and thank you.

I’ve gotten so sick of this whole “who’s got it worse” game, so I did what I always do and came to my blog to write about it.

Recently, I’ve noticed increased talk surrounding mental health amongst my friends, on social media, and even in my class and work spaces.

This has been absolutely fantastic news. Conversations about mental health should insinuate that the topic surrounding mental illnesses is becoming less and less “taboo,” as we open up more about our own experiences.

However, this doesn’t seem to be the case at the moment. With these conversations, I’ve noticed a lot of people dismissing others’ struggles. It comes across almost in a manner of “one-upping” them, just so they themselves can go off about how they’ve got it worse.

“Oh, you only slept five hours last night? Lucky. I’m running on two.”

“You think you’ve got family problems? Don’t worry, mine is worse.”

Sometimes, statements like these may be said with good intentions. This could very well be your friend’s attempt at sympathizing with you, or trying to make you see that you’re not alone. I think we’re all guilty at one point or another of not acknowledging people’s cries for help, because we aren’t looking out for it.

Though, regardless of a person’s intentions, this constant comparison culture can be extremely detrimental and can deter others from asking for help when they really need it.

So, let me reiterate. Mental health is not a competition!

Mental disorders are often referred to as “hidden illnesses,” and for good reason. They present themselves differently within every individual, and people cope with them differently as well.

The fact of the matter is, you never truly know what anyone is dealing with behind closed doors. Some people will vent about all of their minor inconveniences until the day’s end, while others will never open up about anything at all.

Needless to say, if you take away anything from this post, I want it to be this: be mindful of those around you.

If your calculus exam is the toughest thing that you’re facing right now, then by all means, complain about it! Your problems are still completely valid.

That being said, just don’t go blind to others and get sucked into a “who’s got it worse” battle when someone else tries to talk about their own struggles as well.

In fact, let people talk! Sometimes, those who are struggling the most will never say anything about it. Thus, when they do try to speak up and then have their problems immediately diminished by the magnitude of your math test, they shut down even more. So, just be mindful of others, as they should be mindful of you.

After all, everyone is dealing with something.