A letter to the buddies who don’t perceive psychological sickness


“How are you?” is a query many people are accustomed to. It’s in all probability the query we get requested extra usually than every other. Many people robotically reply with ‘high-quality thanks, you?’, as a result of that’s the response we’ve discovered to provide. It’s the response we heard the adults round us trot out every time they have been requested how they have been; they in all probability discovered it from the adults round them.

Individuals are turning into more and more conscious of this. Numerous campaigns encourage us to ‘ask twice‘ or to ask ‘how are you, actually?’.

The issue is, we don’t all the time have a solution. We don’t all the time understand how we’re.

Our Head Is Buzzy

Generally, our heads are buzzy and fuzzy. Nearly just like the static that happens when a radio or TV doesn’t have sufficient sign.

An excessive amount of data has are available in. Too many ideas are whizzing round. We’re completely overloaded. Layers of ideas, phrases, textual content, interactions and messages stack on high of each other, jumbling themselves up within the course of.

We are able to’t suppose, as a result of ‘it’ is just too loud. We’re overwhelmed, overloaded, and earlier than we will correctly have interaction in any dialog, we’d like time to wind down.


There are occasions after we do have ideas, however we will’t catch them to learn them. We are able to see them in our thoughts. They’re there, on the very fringe of our imaginative and prescient. Simply out of attain.

We are able to’t catch them. We are able to’t pull them down, or deliver them shut sufficient to us that we’re capable of learn them. It’s so irritating.

We all know that our ideas are there, and we all know that if we may simply seize them and skim them, then we may talk much more successfully, and let you know how we’re. However irrespective of how arduous we strive, they keep out of attain.


Mind fog can smother us. It clouds our head and may make our tongue thick and heavy. Our ideas get smothered; buried below the thick, dense fog.

We are able to’t let you know how we’re, as a result of the fog smothers the reply. It’s so thick that it doesn’t permit something in or out. Our ideas have slowed proper down.

Supplying you with a good response would contain wading by way of this fog; digging right down to uncover our ideas and emotions. We don’t have the vitality to try this. So we will’t let you know how we’re.

What I Imply Once I Say I Don’t Know How I Am


Generally we turn into disconnected from ourselves. This may occur in a bodily and psychological sense.

Bodily, we could not discover after we’re hungry, thirsty, in ache, too sizzling, or too chilly. Generally it may be harmful as a result of we overlook to see to our primary wants.

Psychologically, we cease connecting with our ideas and emotions. Generally this can be a trauma response; after we expertise terrible issues, our mind can shut down to guard us. We ‘swap off’ to outlive. Generally we squash and squish the whole lot down as a result of we’re not in an area the place we really feel capable of work by way of it. The extra we squash, squish and ignore, the extra disconnected we turn into.

Disconnection can imply that we begin to stay a bizarre spacey existence. We don’t know how we’re, bodily or mentally, and really feel barely indifferent from ourselves always.


Life is never easy. If we cease to analyse how we really feel, it could actually generally be troublesome to slender it down to 1 ‘factor’.

Each day, we undergo many various feelings. So, developing with a concise reply to the ‘how are you’ query could be difficult. We would have felt each nice, and garbage, so does that imply that we steadiness out as ‘high-quality’? Can we common our feelings? Probably not. Being ‘okay’ doesn’t precisely clarify how we’re. It glosses over too many issues.

Perhaps we may provide you with a much less concise reply? However then how a lot ought to we let you know? How a lot element ought to we give? Figuring this out may cause our mind to jam. We get caught. We don’t know what to say – so we default to ‘high-quality’ or ‘okay’, and the dialog strikes on.


A few of us wrestle with open questions. After we attempt to reply them, we rapidly spiral into overwhelm as we attempt to work out what it’s we’re being requested.

Are we presupposed to be speaking about ‘how we’re’ bodily or mentally? Ought to we speak about ‘how we’re’ at work, house, faculty or uni? Are we meant to debate our relationship with our household? Ought to we be speaking about our sleep routine? Do you wish to understand how nicely we’re consuming? Are you asking whether or not we’re managing to go away the home commonly? What’s it that you just wish to know?

All of those ideas and questions can flood our thoughts as we attempt to put collectively a solution. It’s overwhelming and turn into distressing. We would not have the ability to reply as a result of we will’t work out the query we’re being requested. No reply appears ‘proper’, so we don’t know what to let you know.


Figuring out emotions is admittedly troublesome. Generally we all know that we really feel one thing, however we don’t know what that one thing is. It doesn’t appear to suit any of the phrases that we maintain in our inside phrase financial institution.

A few of us may give textbook definitions of particular emotions. We would have the ability to academically describe how an individual would possibly really feel in sure conditions. However after we attempt to apply this educational information to our personal circumstances and establish our personal feelings, we’d wrestle.


Life can get busy.

Generally, after we’re always operating from one factor to a different, we don’t have an opportunity to cease (and even pause) and check-in with ourselves. We don’t understand how we really feel as a result of we don’t have the time or house to consider it. From the second we get up, to the minute we go to mattress, our time is accounted for. Our mind is operating one million miles an hour to attempt to keep on high of the whole lot.

We don’t have the time, vitality, or mind house to work out how we really feel, nevermind talk these emotions.


Generally, the rationale we’re so busy is in order that we don’t have to consider how we really feel. It would really feel too troublesome. We would not wish to confront it or admit issues to ourselves. So we busy-fy our lives on function, tackle increasingly more commitments, volunteer for all kinds of issues, and fill our downtime with TV, social media, books, and the rest that stops us from considering.


Generally, we depend on others to inform us how we really feel; however completely different individuals can have completely different opinions. Some would possibly inform us that they’re critically fearful about us. Others would possibly remark that we’re doing very well. A good friend would possibly inform us that we glance drained or low, whereas one other would possibly say it’s good to see us being a bit extra ‘us’.

It’s actually complicated. All these completely different individuals have completely different opinions on our life, temper, emotions and common wellbeing. It may well create battle in our thoughts as we attempt to navigate the query of how we’re, making it troublesome to determine a solution.


Feeling low is tiring. It may well additionally trigger our sleep to go all wonky, making the tiredness even worse.

Turning our focus inward, determining our emotions and speaking them, is completely exhausting. It’s draining and may go away us feeling wrung out. We all know that an sincere response would possibly end in follow-up questions, too, and that’s one thing that we positively don’t have the vitality for.

Typically, it’s far simpler (and lots much less effort) to say that we don’t understand how we really feel, and hope the dialog strikes on.


Speaking about how we’re could be arduous.

Some individuals are actually open and can fortunately focus on their ideas and emotions with anybody and everybody. Others are extra non-public and have a small group of people that we chat to, as a substitute.

A few of us course of our ideas and emotions by speaking to others. Others prefer to determine all of it out earlier than having a dialog.

We’re all completely different, and it may be that we’re in a spot the place we merely don’t wish to speak about how we’re.


Generally individuals get aggravated or annoyed after we can’t reply the ‘how are you’ query. This annoyance and frustration may kick in after we’re unable to speak how we’re in a approach that they perceive.

We’re not normally being deliberately manipulative, troublesome or evasive. There are many causes for not understanding how we’re – starting from genuinely not understanding, to not wanting to debate it at the moment.

Whether or not we will work out our emotions or not, we’re not alone. We’re not the one one who’s felt the best way we do.

Please assist us to assist others and share this submit, you by no means know who would possibly want it.


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