There is a real stigma surrounding mental health. However, so many people are affected by it, and they often suffer in silence, so it really is something that we ought to talk about openly.
In this blog post, I’m going to talk about my own experiences of mental illness. I have suffered from moderate depression and complex post traumatic stress disorder for most of my adult life. This has only been formally diagnosed in the past year, and now I’m waiting to have CBT. However, simply being aware that I am unwell has been a huge weight off my shoulders.
On a day to day basis, if I have no problems in my life, I can function quite well, and nobody knows that I’m ill. However, when things become stressful life can get overwhelming. It gets very very bad when multiple stressful incidents occur. At the start of this year there were some situations which affected me deeply. I was hurt by people I really loved. My world was plunged into darkness and this led me to finally go to the doctor and get a formal diagnosis. I’m so glad I did. I also told my employer, my colleagues and friends and family. I have received nothing but kindness, love and support. I am very lucky as I know that there is a stigma surrounding mental illness. However, I haven’t seen this. The only difficulty I have had is the waiting list for getting NHS CBT, so I’m thinking of dipping into my savings and going privately.
Now that I know that I’m ill, I see the world differently than I did before. I know that sometimes if I have an insecure or irrational thought it is my illness talking. I also know that there are triggers that make me worse. For example, not getting enough sleep or being overwhelmed with things to do. I have also changed the priorities in my life. I’m taking up more hobbies, doing charity work, enjoying time with my children, making more time to see friends and family, and pursuing happiness.
I know that my life will never be perfect, but nobody’s life is. However, I hope that being open about my own life will help others to seek help if they need it. There is nothing to be ashamed of.