The definition of normal is “the usual, typical average state” – but that is what we as a society have defined normal as. After my experiences so far, I have learned nothing is ever really “normal”. I believe there are norms in this society that we have created but they are for a community as a whole. Most of them do not consider the individual characteristics and circumstances of one person.
If things don’t feel right with my therapists then I tend to walk away, but I like my current therapist. I was trying to describe to my therapist some new changes in my life and some rough times. In response, she said, “Anvitha, all the things you have been through were not normal, especially at a young age.” She said that the times I had been hospitalized for attempting suicide or running away from home at 15, and all the dark thoughts and headspace I was in were NOT normal. Not only did she say that, but she also implied that this might not be a phase. I asked her if I was ever going to get rid of the thoughts, scars, emotions and she said she did not know. I was heartbroken knowing that the rest of my life was gonna be hard, but then I realized that it will be okay.
AGAIN, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS “NORMAL”.
I HAD TO CREATE MY OWN BELIEF SYSTEM AND POUND THAT INTO MY HEAD.
It was very difficult. I felt as if I was on my own.
If you really do look at the rates and statistics for how many people in the world experience some type of mental health issue, it is A LOT. Depression, anxiety, eating disorders, trauma, addiction, the list goes on and on. It is common, yes. Going through it does not make anything “not normal”. Some people may go through it at as young as 12 or as old as 65. A 17-year-old student can have an eating disorder and so can a 50-year-old mother.
Yes, having rare symptoms (like hallucinations) or uncommon circumstances might be “out of the norm” because people might think you are “crazy”. Due to the unfair portrayal of such mental health issues, there are a lot of assumptions surrounding symptoms such as hallucinations. The common assumption is that the person is schizophrenic. People ignore the uniqueness of the individual and go off of the misconstrued stereotypes when in reality, every person functions and reacts very differently. While I think a lack of education causes this, I also think that the refusal to learn more about these issues causes a significant problem. There is science behind all these symptoms that is often overlooked.
The bottom line is – it is OKAY to go through things at any age or stage of life. It does not make you abnormal in any way. Everyone goes through different things in different intensities. IT IS OKAY.