I didn’t really want to write something like this but it’s come to my attention that people are worried about me.
My parents have been stopped in the street or received calls from well meaning people asking if I am OK, the answer to that is YES! I am great thanks.
I have been talking about Mental Health and the issues I have faced. I am talking about the feelings and thoughts many everyday people face but don’t talk about. Why? Because mental health still has such a stigma stuck to it.
Unfortunately, not everyone understands mental health problems. Some people may have misconceptions about what it all means. They may also use language that is dismissive, offensive or hurtful. Unfortunately, negative attitudes and beliefs toward people who have a mental health condition are common.
I think it’s time to change the words we use to describe mental health as it’s hard for people to see past the “crazies” “nutters and “looneies”, the seriously ill that have to be detained, the suicidal and the mentally disturbed. I don’t fall into any of those but I do fall into the mental health bracket.
I am an anxious person, I have always been anxious. As a child I was fraught with worry about most things, things like starting school, exams and wanting my friends to like me. These sound like pretty normal worries that I am sure you have all had.
What sounds better “she is such a worrier” or “oh, she suffers from mental health?”
I don’t like crowds or being in spaces with strangers, talking to strangers is hard and I avoid it if I can, this sometimes comes off very badly. I have been call “”arrogant” “rude” and “standoffish”
What sounds better “she is shy” or “she has mental health issues?”
I have obsessive thoughts that make me carry out ritual routines to relieve stress and my anxieties.
What sounds better “she is very organised” or “she’s controlled by her mental health issues?”
Can you see what I am getting at here?
It does all go deeper than this but the point I am making is as soon as the words “mental health” are used all kinds of thoughts jump into the persons head. The view of the person is changed forever, it’s like they become a whole different person in the other persons eyes.
It makes people very uneasy. There are still attitudes within us that view symptoms of mental health as threatening and uncomfortable, and these attitudes frequently build stigma and discrimination towards any person with a history of mental health problems.
Being discriminated against has a huge impact on our self-esteem and confidence. This can increase isolation from the world and reinforce feelings that we are “different” from everyone else. It can also result in silencing the person who needs to talk so bad out of shame that people will see them as somehow different.
Mental illness is common. It affects thousands of people in the UK, and their friends, families, work colleagues and society in general but even though so many people are affected, there is a strong social stigma attached to mental ill health.
Many people's problems are made worse by the stigma and discrimination they experience - from society, but also from families, friends and work mates. Nearly nine out of ten people with mental health problems say that stigma and discrimination have a negative effect on their lives. Often resulting in not seeking the help they need.
This is why I am writing, talking and helping to show the world that I can have be all these things and still be me. I want others to know its OK to ask for help and not suffer in silence, to not feel like they are the only one in the whole wide world that feels a certain way and that opening up can help in so many ways.
I am good, I am happy, I just have some things I am working on to make my life even more satisfying than it already is.
I have good days and I have bad day, just like everyone else they just may be a little more intense.
Thank you for all who got in touch but I can tell you all I am doing great as I am working on me and my mind.