There’s been a lot of talk about masks recently. But instead of talking about clinical masks, I want to draw your attention to a different type of mask — the mask that society forces people with mental illness to wear.

It might surprise you to know that it is still rare to find a work environment in which you can admit openly that you suffer from depression or a neurological disorder

The main ones, though, are his crippling anxiety and OCD

Few would be aware of the rituals that chain him to his home, his fear of change, or the mental effort it takes to keep himself on track

I’m his mum and selfishly, I suppose, I wanted him there with us, not only to push back his anxiety, but to help me complete the faux image of the perfect family unit I aspire to

When our son is on form, he lights up a room; but when he is overwhelmed, it’s like waiting for the White Walkers to break through the wall

I know better than to think I can prepare for every eventuality. The unpredictability is, perhaps, the hardest part about mental illness. The three steps forward, and the inevitable four steps back

When family and friends ask us how Kurt is doing, we put on masks too

A person with mental illness may look exactly like you and I most of the time, until the mask slips

They can’t “snap out of it” to make the rest of us feel better

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Louisa Simmonds

Louisa Simmonds

Blogger, writer, mental health campaigner, who dreams of being a published author and making the world a happier place.