From the 14th to the 20th of May, it is Mental Health Awareness Week. As most of us know from our day to day challenges, mental health plays a large part in the way that we feel and how we experience our lives in general. For those of us who perhaps aren’t aware, negative effects on our mental health can lead to complications in the way that we deal with various life choices and challenges, interact with our social circles and the role in which we play within our jobs, family, community and friends.
According to Mental Health.org.uk:
“1 in 6 people in the past week experienced a common mental health problem”.
This is a key statistic in recognising that if you are experiencing mental health problems, that you are not alone.
It is important that to identify if you have had a problem with mental health recently, that you begin to understand what can be a contributing factor. Some people can find it very difficult to establish how and why they feel different within themselves when going through a period of poor mental health, only knowing that they don’t feel how they used to. This is an important first step to identifying change, and with such as vast range of problems it is always helpful and advisable to talk about how you feel.
The effects of periods of poor mental health are documented on mental health charity Mind’s website and suggest that…:
“…you might find the ways you’re frequently thinking, feeling or reacting become difficult, or even impossible, to cope with. This can feel just as bad as a physical illness, or even worse”.
Mental health problems can range from depression and anxiety to rarer problems such as schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Mind have compiled a list of various mental health problems which provide insight into just how many mental health problems are recognised, all of which can be viewed by clicking here.
As we spoke about the other day in our CFS/ME post. There is a lot of stigma around mental health, disabilities and other such illnesses, but there need not be. Talking is something which can help so much, it can provide insight for others in ways to help you that you may otherwise not see yourself. And with 1 in 6 people experiencing a mental health problem this week? Chances are you’ll know someone else who may wish to talk just as much as you do, or not in some cases. Never forget that for as lonely, challenging and isolating that mental health can be, you are never alone. And although your experiences will always be unique in some ways to you, there are others who can and will help.
With the right level of self-care, time and help you will be able to get back to being the best version of you that you can. And you may be reading this having the worst time that you feel you have ever had, and every day seems to be more of a challenge than the last. But please do not fall into the trap of isolationism and believing you are the only one who can and who wants to help you.
Although at this moment in time it may seem difficult and may seem that all I am typing here are words, I mean it when I say that people do care, and people do wish to listen and people will always want to help.
We would do well in life to realise that perhaps a problem shared isn’t always directly a problem halved, but it does help to remove some of the weight that carrying a problem can have. Additionally, having someone around us or an individual who we have invited in to help, who is willing to jump into the very depths that we feel we have sunk to is sometimes all that we need to learn to fly.
Although I recognise talking isn’t directly a cure for mental health problems, please, if you take away one thing from this article let it be the fact that:
YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
If you find yourself needing to seek help or even wish to talk to someone about your experiences, your GP can be a great start. If seeing your GP is not your preferred option, there are various charities such as Mind who can help point you in the right direction.
And lastly, if you truly aren’t sure what to do, turn to a friend, family member, teacher, charity or someone who you trust to just listen to you and help guide you in the direction of help. Never forget that…
Although your experiences are unique to you, mental health problems are more common than you may think.
We will be providing an article regarding an individuals experiences with mental health later in the week. And feel that this may help anyone reading this article to relate to how others can feel.
For the meantime though? Thank you for reading and please remember that you are not alone.