What does mental health mean to me…

Mental health is something that I would like to help people who have no idea what it is all about. I feel as though we all shy away from talking about our illness that it’s never really understand and this is all down to the stigma surrounding it. I suppose this is how it use to be and has now become the normal way, but I want to try to change this!

There is such a stigma around mental health, no one wants to talk about it or admit that they suffer with it. They say it’s a sign of weakness however, being someone who has suffered with mental health nearly all my life and going through it as we speak, this is something which I find defines me and I feel ashamed to say this is something I suffer with. You can’t say that only the weak suffer with this illness as no matter how rich, smart or strong you are it can affect you. Take Prince William and Harry as an example, you think they would be happy with everything they have, but it’s the priceless things that can have an effect more than anything such as losing your mum at such a young age… this is something I can relate to myself.

Mental illness makes you feel as though you are trapped in your own body, no one understanding what you’re going through. I see it as a flaw not a strength, this is something which becomes hard to live with, feeling as though your ‘crazy’. You feel as though you have no one to talk to, feeling completely alone and helpless. You start to withdraw and before you know it you end up with severe anxiety at just the thought of going to the shop for some milk. Your mind is going 1000 miles per hour and no matter what you do, you just can’t escape it. I think what I find the hardest is that people don’t seem to understand that this is a genuine illness and telling someone to ‘snap out of it’ is the most ridiculous thing you could say, if that was possible we wouldn’t have so many people suffering with it at this very moment. I think this is something which needs more notice as this can be an invisible illness, looking at me people would never expect me to say I suffer with depression, anxiety and PTSD, because I am always happy well that’s what we call a ‘mask’ and we use this to battle each day…. it’s our shield. The best way to explain mental illness is that you are stuck behind bomb proof glass, not being able to fight your way out of it, no one hearing the screams and sobbing. It’s just you on your own completely broken, knowing you might never be the same again.

There are so many different stages of mental illness, I got into a bit of a situation and was at crisis point and I was able to get the support of professionals within the NHS. However, this isn’t easy to get, as it sometimes is too late before they are able to step in. Someone who understands mental illness knows the tragedy it can cause on family and friends… one person every 2 hours takes their own life, that’s 12 a day! Through being at the hospital you realise it can affect any person in any situation, it doesn’t just target the ‘weak’ ones. In fact I noticed that a lot of the people suffering are actually some of the strongest people I know. If you ever feel as though it is coming to a point where you need further help or support contact the Samaritans or your local GP they will be able to help get the help you need or just be a listening ear.

Speak soon