It’s mental health awareness week, just in case you didn’t know.
So what does that mean? Well I guess it’s a time to encourage discussion and let people know about mental illness. For people to say ‘hey I’m not ok and it is an issue in my brain, rather than something you can see like a broken leg or arm’ a chance to say ‘some people take tablets, some people go to therapy, some people do both’ and a chance to say ‘I have an illness that affects my day-to-day life and you may not be able to see or touch it, but I sure as hell feel it’
I have and do suffer with clinical depression and severe anxiety. It all started in 2010 and it still affects me now, not half as much as it used to; some bad days are pretty bad and some good days are absolutely fantastic.
It’s my ‘thing’; my set-back, my demon or the monster under the bed or whatever you want to call it. It’s a real thing. A chemical imbalance in my brain which causes me to act, feel and be a certain way.
It can cause me to push people away out of fear. It can cause me to avoid doing things, like go to university or work. It can cause me to skip meals and not look after myself.
A sense of impending doom can cast a shadow over your entire world and paralyse you and you do not know any better. You feel stuck in this darkness. You cannot just change how you feel. What you think. And how you react to things.
Because it has a biological nature. So as much as you ‘cannot see it’, it is there in a physical being. It is there, in the brain and mind. A lack of serotonin, for example.
But there is a cause, something in your life or lifestyle that has triggered this illness in your mind; altering your mental health and stability. That could be poverty, family issues and so on.
‘’Mental disorders need to be addressed as disorders of distributed brain systems with symptoms forged by developmental and social experiences’’
The stress of everyday life can trigger a mental illness. This is why 1 in 3 people suffer with mental illness.
And it is as simple as that.
So now that we are all aware. What can we do to help each other?
Encourage, talk and do not judge.
Just because you may not have experienced it, just because you may not actually understand it doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be supported and acknowledged just as much as cancer is.