Let's talk about 'MeNtAl HeAlTh'
Updated: Jul 19, 2020
Even in this day and age, depression and anxiety are such taboo topics. It definitely contributes to our personal fear of mental health in general. If something so common, is kept under the wraps, how can we begin to normalise mental health disorders that are more rare? By not having conversations with others, you don't realise how common it is to feel this way. When you talk to others, read books of people's journeys or experience art and music related to these feelings, it is extremely comforting. Suddenly this foreign and bizarre feeling is not uniquely yours. It's a human condition that has been here for ages. Others have struggled and come to the other side, stronger and more resilient than ever. This is the best way to start to your own recovery.
Let me give you my story... for me, my anxiety became so intense, I then became depressed. You feel almost numb. It is honestly the most peculiar feeling ever. I think the scariest thing, that most people will attest to, is that you don't know what the hell is going on. "Anxiety" I was used too. My old friend! The panic attacks, the nausea, the relentless thoughts. Literally takes your breath away! To think that I didn't even know that it was a thing, it was just a normal part of my life. It seems a little funny now I look back at everything. It also feels super weird to share it so nonchalantly. But just like those that helped me, this is a platform for myself, first of all, but also maybe to pass the baton and help someone else.
So in this instance, after many years of ignoring it, it was like I had changed the difficulty setting in a game. From medium to super hard. It became too much to ignore. You honestly think you're going mad... Before this, no matter how much I felt this strange, all-consuming fear, I always knew I could get through it, whatever the hell this was anyway. Why should I make a big deal out of it? I won't tell anyone. This is definitely too weird. I don't need anyone's help, neither do I want anyone to worry about me. The turning point, was when the dial was turned up in the anxiety department plus questioning everything. See, I think at this point if I had been exposed to more mental health education or spoken to others who went through this, I would have realised, this is indeed a thing!
I consider myself lucky, at those times I had a strong support system. I still do. Those people helped me seek out those that can help me, and were patient with me as I uprooted my life. But it makes me think, what about those who don't have support? At the very least, shouldn't they know that others are feeling like this too? And that yes, you will get better!
This was my personal experience. Everyone has their own but there are strangely common factors to recovery. I think the fact that no one else talks about this openly makes it even more isolating than it needs to be. That is such a shame. It's hard enough by itself, but if we had more conversations about it, even amongst ourselves, you will help yourself and others. So if you're feeling this way, my friend, I hope this gave you comfort. In my next post, I will share what helped me in the stages of recovery, in the hope that it may help you.