Thursday, 6 February 2014

Time To Talk: Mental Health

Hello Bumblebeas!

Today's post is a bit of a serious one. Time to Change are hosting time to talk day today which is a full 24 hours or talking about and spreading awareness of mental health and get rid of stigma that surrounds it.

Mixed anxiety and depression is the most common mental disorder in Britain. So why aren't we talking about it?

Everybody is fighting their own battle that you have no idea about. In some cases, this involves mental health issues.

When I started getting the symptoms of anxiety disorder, I was in secondary school with no idea what the hell I was feeling meant. The panic attacks, running away from social situations and claustrophobia just being in a classroom. The quickened heartbeat and palpitations, the hyperventilating and just the sheer mental exhaustion of it all. What did it all mean?

Luckily for me I had a counsellor at school who I had been seeing for years who was able to explain it to me. But what about people who don't have a counsellor like I did? 

Schools should make it more of a priority to discuss mental health in schools. Everybody knows what a broken leg looks like, but not many know how to recognise mental health issues. Schools should make it their duty to discuss mental health with their students and encourage them to speak out when they feel something is not right inside them. But not only that, people should be educated on how to support a friend, a family member etc because it isn't exactly black and white.

If you are suffering inside your mind, you should tell someone. I know that is terribly cliché and it makes you think "But it is not that easy!" I guarantee I know how you feel. I have never told my own family what is inside my mind but when I was 13 I opened up to the school counsellor and now, as a 16 nearly 17 year old, I still talk to her and see her as a friend.

Do not feel embarrassed and do not be ashamed. People aren't made to feel embarrassed when they break their leg or have cancer, so why should we have to feel ashamed about mental health?

We need to talk, and keep on talking. And then, we will talk some more.
Stigma around mental health won't change unless we keep talking and raising awareness until mental health isn't stigmatised any more.

And for those of you who are suffering: You are certainly not alone. There are plenty of people out there feeling as alone and as confused as you do. Mental illness doesn't go away over night and recovery is only an option when you admit to yourself you need help and then allow yourself to be helped. It's okay to not be okay.

Write a letter, or a blog post like I used to. Beginning is the most difficult part, but when you start you'll feel the weight being lifted off your shoulders as you speak.

Just talk.


No comments:

Post a Comment