Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Very Honest - Mental Health Awareness Week

- I asked on twitter what to do photo wise with this post. My sister said to draw a pineapple wearing a sombrero drinking tea. So there?

I don't keep it secret that I 'struggle'* with my mental health. I was diagnosed with severe anxiety when I was 17, though now I'd say I'm just occasionally subject to anxious thinking and am now somewhere between being diagnosed with Depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder- by this I mean I have diagnosed depression but my doctor and I do think it could be S.A.D. I take 100mg of Sertraline daily for my depression and have counselling sessions at university. 

I think it's so important to talk about this. There's nothing secret about the medication I take and I don't mind people having a little bit of insight into my mind, but that is all it is. Even if you also have similar experiences with mental health or are diagnosed with the same things, we are never truly going to know how it affects each one of us. We all have totally different lives which is of course reflected in our minds and therefore cannot be compared or judged.

When I was really little, people, especially teachers and my peers at school, would have described me as being 'shy' which quite frankly was ridiculous. I have never been shy. The reason I was quiet was because I was anxious and anxiety was holding me back from being as loud and outspoken as I can be. I didn't know this then, and neither did anyone else, but in reflection I can recognise when I had panic attacks about things like speaking in front of my class. I think too often mental health conditions are over generalised as being something you only experience in teenage and adult life and it's so important that we recognise that it isn't bound by age. It's just a thing that happens in some people's, any people's, heads.

The stigma attached to mental illness is so frustrating in so many ways. I used to feel scared to openly talk about my mental health with just anyone for fear of judgment or them possibly thinking 'well she's too much work' and you know what, if people do think like that they aren't really worth my time either. No one is 'too much work', every person on this planet is just as complex and interesting as the other and I truly believe that.

Mental health problems affect us all, directly or indirectly and they need to be spoken about instead of being left in the shadows of society.

*I don't struggle at all, in fact if I had never had anxiety and didn't have depression I wouldn't be who I am now, and I fucking love myself. 

IWx
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