So seeing as today is Time to Talk Day, which is a day encouraging us to talk about mental health, both our experiences and everything there is to know, I thought I'd write a little post about it! It's a subject which is very close to me and I couldn't miss this opportunity. I feel like this day is very important as it can encourage everybody from any age to get talking about the subject of mental health and the stigmas it can be attached to.
I know from personal experience how difficult it is to talk about things like this, but I also know how important it is to do! One of the main reasons that mental health is such a "taboo" subject is that it's not talked about very much and therefore a lot of generations are not educated on how some of these illnesses work and tend to "assume" things which are totally wrong. Not much time is actually taken to understand how tiring and exhausting a mental illness is and how difficult it really is have on a daily basis! It is something which really annoys me as I feel like it does nothing for the stigma and the people suffering as if they feel they cannot be taken seriously, it just adds to the pressure and their illness could be potentially made worse.
I only really began to even slightly open up about anxiety issues I face last year and that was after around 3/4 years of dealing with them. And I can tell you, it's really difficult when you feel like you don't be understood or that it's weird or whatever. I also worry that people will be dismissive or unsupportive over symptoms I may face or if I'm having a panic attack. It may not be a physical illness from the start, but it can turn into physical, if it's like a panic attack. But even so, it doesn't mean it isn't any less difficult or any less painful, going through something like this. It can ruin lives and stop you doing the things you want to, and the things you need to. It can seriously damage your self-esteem and it can control you. For a lot of people, it can be hugely deliberating and horrendous.
And 1 in 4 people will suffer with a mental illness anytime during their life. But the fact is some of these illnesses are really hard and a lot of the time yes it might be 'all in my head' but that is exactly what mental health is right? I fear the lack of education and understanding will leave hundreds and thousands of younger people struggling and being unable to get help. It tends to be some of the older generation that are more dismissive and maybe it's because they never learned about it, or had that knowledge of what the affects of some of these problems are, so that is why it definitely needs to be spoken about more. I feel like if some of the people in the older generations such as parents and grandparents took more care with what they are saying and actually maybe do a bit of research and generally learn a bit more about some of these awful illnesses, they would hopefully be more open to taking better care of not just their loved ones who may be suffering but anybody they may know. If the children or teenagers of these people felt like they could speak up about it without feeling even more isolated, the world would be a better place and treatment could be given earlier.
Schools definitely need to reach out more and teach more about mental health because then maybe these children and teenagers won't feel so confused at what they are going through. If we can make future generations more understanding then think about how many more future generations will be coming into the world and feeling like they can talk about their struggles? We need to do something to allow this!
I know for a fact if I'd managed to sort out my issues when I was younger, like say a few years ago when they first started getting bad, it wouldn't have gotten half as bad. But the fact is I felt like I couldn't speak up about it and to be honest, I still find it hard now, even when I have to talk about it or when I'm writing blog posts about it, I still feel a sense of worry as I write them because I know some people won't understand or have something negative to say about it all.
And let me just say. Mental illnesses are REAL. Just because you can't see them don't make them any less of anything, and doesn't mean they shouldn't be taken less seriously.
And YES, everyone gets anxious feelings BUT NOT EVERYONE GETS IT TO THE POINT WHERE IT IS ANXIETY.
So let's end mental health discrimination and stigma! Let's make attempts at understanding the struggles and
Just because you can't see something, doesn't mean it's not there! If you feel someone may need to talk about something they are going through, make every effort to listen! You never know how much help you could be potentially giving.
Please visit http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/ for more information, and don't forget to continue spreading the hashtag #timetotalk on Twitter!
There is also an article about 10 Common Misconceptions about Mental Health which you can find here:
Love & hugs