Mental Madness

Not everyone is a CRAZY!!

Mental health is something we feel like we shouldn’t speak about, but when it’s part of our everyday life, why shouldn’t we? We all most probably know somebody who has some issues , Be it a family member a friend or somebody we work with.  As I’ve gotten older, it’s become more apparent to me that talking about mental health in my community  is still very much a taboo topic and hardly ever spoken about. I suppose this is why people are frightened of reliving such dark days and fear the judgement of others so they keep quite. There is no way of telling if somebody has a mental health condition.

Depression in particular is a disease that has the power to keep us silent. It wants us to stay quiet because it grows through isolation and shame. For many people keeping quiet is a response to the overwhelming sense of guilt and shame that they feel when they succumb to depression. The illness initiates questions such as ‘How will my friends and family’s perception of me change?’ ‘Will I still be respected at work?’ ‘Will others doubt my performance as a sister/friend?’ and ‘Have I let everyone down?’

For me symptoms of depression started  in my early twenties. when i started to suffer from hypothyroidism, working in a busy environment, and a hectic  but happy lifestyle, Yet the pit of depression I had fallen into was so deep that I often came to see death as a welcome release. But there were so many things I didn’t understand. i didnt know why i felt the way i did. what was happening to me, i didnt go looking for answers! I definitely didn’t realise that anyone, including myself, could develop this problem. Some people like myself have grown up in households where talking about feelings was not the norm. Changing this habit is difficult and takes courage. I know that stigma is alive and well, not just from others but it’s often stronger in the minds of those affected.

As i got older, I no longer feel I need to lie about my experiences, or worry that conversations about my health will make others and myself feel uncomfortable. I have learnt a lot by sharing my experiences. so many people i know  suffer from  depression and anxiety in silence as no one in our community cares. they look at you like you are not normal because you have these issues. somehow you did something sinful in your life that you deserve what you have. if you are ill its your own fault!

A lesson that I learnt and i am finally starting to embrace is that there is no shame in doing things at my own  pace in order to get by. It is not ‘lazy’ when i can’t peel myself from  bed because my busy mind  kept me awake all night and i am too exhausted to face the day. We need to break down all stigma surrounding depression so that nobody suffers in silence.

so many woman go through postnatal depression after childbirth,  yet is seen as “oh its something woman go through when they have kids” yes they do, but why are you making it sound like it hasn’t changed these womans lives forever!

even if people don’t suffer from depression, stress is a silent killer it increases our risk of addictive and destructive behaviour, it’s the major factor of us developing anxiety,  and it leads to depression and other mental health problems. It can also increase risks of physical health problems including heart disease, insomnia, muscle pain and damages our immune system…the list goes on……most people suffer in silence and end up taking their life! the reality is depression killed them!!

if I didn’t have my family & friends I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now. In my darkest moments, they support me. When I feel like there is no light, they switch it on. When my thoughts are drowning me, they give me a new perspective. When I feel like a failure, they remind me of my worth. At every single point of my journey through life, they celebrate my achievements and my happiness, and they support me through despair. They make sure I never feel alone. They never pretended to know the answers but knowing they are there for me is enough.

Sometimes the thought of being there for someone can be pretty daunting. We question whether we’ll have the time, whether we can say the right thing, and perhaps if we’re having a hard time too, whether we can truly give another person the support they might need. In my experience , being there for someone can range from offering up my spare time or long drives, small gestures to simply sending a text and letting someone know you’re thinking about them.

Just because you are a man, doesn’t mean you are immune to mental health. As mental health is a part of everyone’s life, no one should feel uncomfortable to talk about how they feel and the reasons why. Talking is the main point of contact for people, we do it every day! If words can hurt and create disruptions, they can equally create comfort, peace of mind and help one another to pull through.

Mental health is not something we should be ashamed of, it’s not something I put down as a weakness but nor is it something I define myself by. It’s not attention seeking or being dramatic, it’s an issue. The importance of mental health is so significant and the fact it is 2018, I am baffled over why after so many years, our communities brush it under the carpet and are still afraid to talk and not prepared to take steps forward. by not educating ourselves and talking about this, we are carrying this stigma on and will end up passing it down to our younger generation and  they may not feel comfortable or confident to talk about the mental health issues they may be facing.

“Scars tell the story of where you’ve been, They don’t dictate where you’re going.”

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