This is a very different post today from me and it is something that will affect you in your life, maybe not so directly but it will and you may not know it. This post is on mental health, something not everyone understands and some don’t know how to deal with because in fact many people do not know how to manage mental health and talking about it, whether that is if you suffer from it and don’t fully recognise there is a problem or a friend/relative has it and you don’t know how to help or want to say the wrong things.
If you suffer from a mental health illness or think you do, talk to someone you can trust, whether that is your mum, teacher, work colleague, or doctor, it doesn’t matter who, just talk. Visit your GP and let them know your symptoms or that you think you may be suffering, take a friend with you or write it down if you can’t talk about it.
Talking is a big thing in mental health, those with an illness don’t do enough of it, and many others are still stigmatising the issue so individuals who do suffer can’t speak up about it. It is hard to ‘see’ when someone has a mental health issue because it is considered an invisible illness, you cannot physically see anything wrong from the outside. This is why they are treated so differently and wrongly so. If someone breaks their leg, they go and have treatment and are put on medication and see specialists, why is this different with MH? Just because you can’t see a problem it doesn’t mean there isn’t one there.
If you are worried about a friend or someone close to you and you think they may be suffering, try talking to them and make sure they are aware that you have noticed these behaviours and symptoms, encourage them to see a doctor and offer to go with them, they will need your support.
Everyone needs support and guidance from time to time with or without an illness, depression or OCD does not mean a person will need you 24/7. They are still the same person just with an explanation as to why they feel a certain way or behave slightly differently to the norm. A good support network is needed for those with mental health issues, they need to trust people and know that they are cared about and need close friends/family and even schools or workplaces to UNDERSTAND what is going on, to understand the support you need to know the basics of mental health issues. You don’t need to treat them differently, you need to not joke about being ‘depressed’ when you are actually just a bit upset, they need someone to listen to their problems, get advice from and reassurance that you care and things will get better.
Mental health issues are so common and affect everyone, many often in their teens/young adults. People find it hard to speak up about their mental health because of the label they have above their heads, you must remember they are still people and they have feelings too!
If you, like many other people do not understand mental health very well then be open minded about it, if there is an illness, like anything else it needs to be treated. A lot of workplaces still aren’t very supportive about MH as it is classed as a disability so it has this negative label attached and although they cannot discriminate, many do it unintentionally. However, if this was say someone with diabetes, who has to manage and has had to adapt their lifestyle around this illness, employers are more than happy to take them on, why should anxiety or bi-polar be treated differently?
In my opinion, those who suffer with mental health issues are amazing and brave people, they go through so much, often alone, and it goes completely unnoticed what their body and mind is going through. They have to recognise that they have a problem and accepting this can be incredibly difficult for some, and get the right treatment and help, open up to others that they are suffering and still manage daily life!
Many people need to learn more about mental health, how it affects people and how you can help them. Workplaces, schools, uni’s and even some doctors need to be more helpful with dealing with individuals, there are many ignorant people who deny there is such a thing as mental health because they cannot see a problem.
It is certainly time to change the way people look at mental health and help those get the support they need who are suffering in silence.
I hope you enjoyed my little rant!