If you didn’t know, today is #TimeToTalk Day. A day where we talk about our mental health, encourage others to talk about theirs, to stick a united bunch of middle fingers at the stigma we are surrounded by when it comes to mental illnesses.
I’ve experienced my fair share of mental illnesses, I have a big old list that’s longer than my arm. Some of the illnesses I’ve had the delight of being diagnosed with are: Generalised Anxiety Disorder, Clinical Depression, Panic Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, School Refusal Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Self Harm, Emetophobia, Eating Disorders, Post Natal Depression, Pre Natal Anxiety, Agoraphobia.
…Yeh. Told you it was pretty long.
Mental health awareness is something that is very close to my heart, I write a lot about my own mental health both on here, twitter and also in a few guest posts for other bloggers:
Mental Health Monday’s over at Mumconventional.co.uk
I spoke about my mental health and how being a teen Mum as part of the #YoungMumsProject over at MummyandLiss.com
I believe the more we talk about it, the more we are sticking up our middle fingers to the stigma surrounding mental illness. Last year, someone decided to make it their mission to make my life hell, one of the things this person said to Ben was that people who talk about their mental health online are just attention seekers. This was the start of a long, drawn out shit storm that eventually led to me having a relapse. This comment though, is something that has stuck in my head nearly a year later, circling around my mind, popping up whenever I write about my mental health online. Do people think I’m just attention seeking? Should I stop writing about my battles with anxiety, depression, OCD, eating disorder… Is that really what people think when they read my posts? §These questions have flitted about my mind ever since, periodically making me fall further behind in my recovery in the process but you know what? Talking about mental health is important. Reading honest accounts of what it’s really like to suffer with these illnesses is important. Reaching out for support is important. It makes those who struggle feel less alone, understood, valid. It’s okay not to be okay and it’s okay to talk about not being okay.
So, to that person, to those people, to that attitude – get fucked.
Let me tell you this, opening up about mental health issues is difficult enough without dickheads like that opening their internet gobs with no thoughts at all as to what their words can do to someone who actually suffers with mental health issues.
I thought today would be a good day to address the level of wrong in this statement.
First things first, if you’ve ever said anything like that, you’re an asshole. Mental health awareness is an uphill battle without twats like that making our lives even harder by being unnecessary dickheads. Stop a second, check your self and change your attitude.
Second of all, the most important thing you can ever do when suffering inside your own mind is to talk; talk to your Mum, Dad, husband, wife, therapist, sister, brother, friend, even your cat. Hell, talk to that questionable looking stray your cat hangs out with. Anyone. A problem shared is a problem halved and all that.
Mental health is just as important as physical health.
The sigma is hard, so so hard. The way no one bats an eyelid if someone calls in sick if they’ve got the flu but somehow a bad mental health day is deemed an unacceptable reason.
This is something I have never been able to get my head around and that is the view on physical health being more important than mental health. How does that even make sense? You mental health can hinder your life as much as a physical health problem. In fact, I feel my mental health holds me back more, for the most part anyway, than my physical disability. I know that’s not going to be the same for everybody but my point is, both impact your life enough to be an equal priority.
Another huge topic of stigma related bollocks is how mental health issue are used so feely as adjectives. Incase you were wondering, mental illnesses are not adjectives. I even filmed a video about this, aptly named “Mental Illnesses Are Not Fucking Adjectives“. I feel that title is very fitting and I do go rather in depth into that topic in the video and also the blog post I wrote to go along side it.
I know I refer back to this excerpt I wrote but I just think that it needs to be said, over and over again. Shout it from the rooftops because we are all going to make it.
“YOU KNOW, I READ A TWEET THE OTHER MONTH ABOUT HOW PEOPLE WITH MENTAL ILLNESSES ARE WEAK. EASY TARGETS. BUT YOU DO KNOW WHAT? WE ARE THE STRONGEST OF PEOPLE BECAUSE WE HAVE TO BE. MENTAL ILLNESSES DON’T MAKE YOU WEAKER, THEY MAKE YOU HAVE TO LEARN TO BE STRONGER.
Chances are we all have been affected by mental illnesses at some point or another, whether it is yourself who is the sufferer or somebody close, the majority of people don’t get through life without it touching them in some way along the road. It is everybody’s problem. Every single one of us.
We live in a world where people choose to kill themselves instead of talk to somebody. It’s time to change.
Now, you can either be part of the problem, like nob head up above, or you can be part of the solution.
Call: 116 123 (UK & ROI) (this phone line is open 24/7 and is free of charge)
Call: 0800 1111
This phone line is for children and young people and will not show up on phone bills.
This is a website for both children and adults who are affected by bullying
Call: 0808 2000 247
This is a free 24 hour Domestic Violence Helpline.
Please see this link with details on how to cover your tracks when visiting this website.
Call: 0300 330 0630
This is an LGBTQ+ helpline. All call handlers identify as LGBTQ+.
For other helplines please click here.
P.S You are going to make it out alive.