The word mental health has been in my life for a very long time. I’ve supported friends and family members during their darkest hours and witnessed the aftermath of someone feeling at their lowest. It’s not a nice thing, especially when the help needed isn’t always offered, or only offered when an individual takes it into their own hands.
There are many associations with mental health that can be incorrect and just rely on those negative stereotypes people give them.
- Mental health is not:
- Attention seeking
- Always shown through self-harm
- Easy to diagnose
- Easy to live with
- A choice
- A bad thing
It was less than a year ago that I realised I had most probably been living with anxiety for many many years, I’m talking possibly 16+ years. I found myself worrying a lot about the smallest things, taking every decision I made very seriously and hating myself if it didn’t go well. I panic a lot, I think the worst in everything I do and I’m very quick to put myself down. I don’t know why it took me so long to realise, I’ve been around mental health problems for a very long time but I don’t know whether it’s because I’ve also seen the struggles in getting help.
And really it’s no surprise really that I’ve been struggling, after 6 operations on my feet and other health problems along the way I think I’d be a robot not to feel anything. As a child you kind of don’t think about the ins and outs and the problems when facing a new diagnosis, but like many others the older I’ve got the more I’m realising the effect this has on me.
Mental health is such an important topic, at times we can be scared to speak up in fear of the judgement or even having to come to terms that something isn’t right. No one asks to go through what they do, a lot of the time no one even speaks up until it could possibly be too late. Let’s stop judging, let’s offer a hand to whoever the person is and actually listen. They’re not just saying it for the sake of it when people say “check up on your friends”, you never know what someone might be feeling under the smile they might be showing you. And also know it is okay to speak, at anytime not just the days that bring awareness💛