Mental health is a tricky subject to broach, especially because there's still so many cultural and societal taboos surrounding it. I do believe though that these are slowly breaking down as more and more people work hard to raise awareness of the multiple ways in which poor mental health can be experienced and share their own experiences.
We still have a long way to go though, especially when it's estimated that one in four people will will be affected by mental or neurological disorder at some point in their lives. Nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help according to the World Health Organisation, who report this is due to stigma and discrimination.
I have previously suffered with both depression an eating disorder and generalised anxiety disorder - a fantastic trio that have at points in the past rendered me unable to work, socialise or even leave the house.
I am very lucky to have both an understanding family and partner and also, despite a very long wait, access to mental health services both through the NHS, the charity Mind and eventually privately when I could finally afford it.
Everyone and every situation is different and I personally found that medication was not appropriate for me, however talking therapies definitely had a positive outcome.
Through speaking with someone and coming to understand my underlying issues and triggers, I have been able to build up a decent amount of mental resilience that I can now rely upon when times get tough.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have those days though where I feel like everything is on fire, the world is imploding and I can't possibly cope, but I now know my warning signs and how to react to them.
Sometimes I just need to get off the computer go and do some exercise, or talk to friend over a decent cup of coffee in my favourite hangout. Other times, when it's a bit more serious, I might have to prioritise myself for awhile and I no longer feel guilty about doing this. Self care can be as simple as knowing when it's time to say no. Cats definitely help too..
If you're currently in that dark place, you know the one I mean, I can absolutely assure you from my own experience that things will get better. There is always a way forward and a path out to a place which will be bearable, if not pretty good.
This is my tenth post in my attempt to write something on this blog everyday in October. Find my previous post from the 9th here.