We talk about mental health so much more these days than we ever used to. This is a good thing, but the conversation doesn’t need to stop. Ever. We need to make sure that the importance of mental health is discussed frequently so that anyone who may be suffering in silence, can feel like that they are able to speak to someone, anyone, about the way that they are feeling.
Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It can affect how we act, feel and think. It impacts on how we handle certain situations, how we might make choices and react to those around us. It’s important to remember too, that it’s not just mental health in adulthood that needs to be talked about, but in children and teenagers too. It’s something that can affect anyone at any time.
Depression and anxiety aren’t always easy to diagnose, and those concerned might not even know that they are suffering. I wrote a while ago about living with someone with depression. I wrote about it because it was my experience of the illness. My husband didn’t know why he was feeling so down. I didn’t either. All I knew is that he was not at all easy to live with and I desperately wanted to work out what the problem was. I had my suspicions and upon doing some research, I sat him down and gently asked him whether he thought he might be suffering from depression. He’d been through some tough times prior to this and it all seemed to make sense in my head. He agreed to make a doctors appointment on the condition that I went with him and thankfully, that was the beginning of his journey to getting better.
It wasn’t a quick journey. In fact, he wouldn’t disagree with me when I say, it’s a journey that we are still on. There are still bad days and these are the kind of days that catch me unaware and I have to remind myself to be mindful and understanding. Thankfully these days are far, far less than they used to be and we get by. But I have to remind him to keep talking. Which, by the way, he is not good at, at all!
In all of this, I’ve had to be careful and think about my own mental health. It’s only recently, within the last couple of years that I have discovered that I have mild anxiety. I couldn’t work out why I felt so anxious about ‘silly little things’. I would be worried or nervous about things that never used to bother me. The feeling of turmoil in my stomach would sometimes be unbearable and all I would want to do is cry and hide myself away.
Thankfully, because I had done so much research before, I recognised the signs early and because I became aware of it, I was able to work on handling it better when it happened. Anxiety can lead to depression, and I’m mindful of this. This is why the importance of mental health awareness is paramount.
Yes, we do talk about it and that’s great, but sometimes you might be needed to just listen. If you think someone may be suffering, don’t be afraid to let them know that you are there. I did, and it was the best thing I could have done. I don’t like to think about where we might be now had we not got the help we did when we needed it.
Please, remember. Be kind, be patient and be there. You might just change someone’s life.
For more information, see this article: https://www.betterhelp.com/
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