Over the past few years, mental health is finally being recognised as an important part of our health. We have more celebrities coming out about their experiences, more characters in stories with mental health issues. Storylines for TV shows, books, are centred round mental health and the destruction bad mental health can have.
Its great, we finally talking about it.
But the truth is, is it enough?
The answer is no.
Yes, we’re finally talking about it. Yet, when we do, we’re terrified. No matter where we go to talk about it, we feel like we can’t. There is still a stigma around mental health. We are worried that people we see us as weak. We worry that people won’t hang around with us anymore.
There are still people in the world that say that mental health doesn’t exist. That these people should “man up” or “suck it up”. No matter whether people suffer from mental health for a short period or for their entire lives, it exists, and it can be terrifying to live with. Because of these stigmas, it can make people feel isolated. These feelings can escalate and can do some serious damage.
People as we speak are still self-harming, taking their own lives and it needs to stop.
No matter where we go, being different is considered an issue. Although there is more acceptance of minority figures, people with disabilities, discrimination still happens.
The stakes are higher than ever. As students, we are expected to juggle classwork, social lives, family lives and expectations by the rules that are only subtlety filling our heads. Then there are other pressures, to find a partner, to get a job, to get a house. And when we don’t hit those expectations, we feel ashamed. This hierarchy that we are forced to conform to feels forced.
Sometimes people have those people that are supportive of these choices. Family and friends who say that they are happy with what they do. Not everyone has that. There are people living and breathing who don’t have that support. Who are forced to be the person that their friends and family are making them be. They are forced to be someone they are not. And if they do come out, they may be discriminated and isolated by the people who should always be there for them. Either way, they live with this anxiety and then depression and it can lead to serious psychological damage.
It can happen to anyone at anytime. And sometimes its hard to help that person out. It can happen to you, a friend, a family member and it can be tough to deal with.
If you or someone you know is going through a period of bad mental health, here are some things to consider and do.
Everyone goes through bad days
We all have days where we wish we never got out of bed. Just remember, that these days will pass. Learn from your mistakes, and move on. Don’t be too harsh with yourself as we all make them.
Get help or point to the best places for help
If you feel that your mental health is getting bad, talk to someone you trust. If it lasts for more than a few months, go talk to a GP. If someone you know is suffering and you want to help, say where the best places to get help are but never push them or hand them over. Always show that you are there for them.
Set up some coping mechanisms
I think this something everyone should do, whether they suffer from mental health issues or not, but try to make a list of all the things you enjoy doing and set up some time doing it. Even if it means taking a few minutes to just breathe. If it helps and you’re not hurting either yourself or anyone else, go for it.
If you have ever suffered from this or are going through it now, please remember that you are not alone with this. There are people out there, whether they be family, friends, teachers, online groups, there are people out there who love you and think you’re amazing.