Image credit: @gemmacorrell
As you probably figured from the title, October 10th is World Mental Health day and is a really great way to show your support for those suffering with Mental Health issues and also for taking the time to focus and reflect on your own well being.
I personally struggle with Anxiety, Depression and a crippling lack of self confidence. My journey has been long, turbulent, frightening, difficult and enlightening all at the same time. I’m still in a constant battle with my own personal demons, but I have the right support and the love of my friends and family to help me through it.
Not everyone is so fortune to have that, or even know who to turn to when they feel like this may be affecting them. Mental Health is a huge epidemic that affects everyone from all walks of life. Male/female, young/old, rich/poor. It doesn’t care who or what you are and no two cases should ever been compared against each other.
Mental health and well being is just as important as physical and not should be taken lightly. Do not mock or dismiss what you don’t understand and try your best to empathise and educate yourself. Ask questions, no-one will be offended by you wanting to get a better understanding of what others are going through.
It’s important to remember that this issue is larger than anyone anticipated; 1 in 4 of us will experience Mental Health issues this year alone and many don’t know how to identify it, cope or ask for help. And given that 60% of the people I know and love all have experienced or are currently struggling with this in one form or another.. I’d say that statistic wasn’t too far off.
I guess my 2 cents on the topic is this: appearances can be very VERY deceptive. Many don’t share how they feel for fear of being mocked, judged or deemed a burden. That stigma needs to lifted so people can get the confidence to ask for help.
So ask your friends and family how they are.. how they REALLY are, reach out to those who haven’t been in touch lately – withdrawal is a big red flag and please be kind to one another, you never know what is going on inside a persons head. And most importantly it’s okay NOT to be okay – ask for help, tell a friend how you feel, don’t fear the Doctor. There are so many ways to find support and treatment if needed, you just need to ask. You are never alone.