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1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. Suicide is the biggest killer of men under 35. Self Harm is one the rise and we still struggle to talk openly about it due to the stigma attached. Mental health is a scary enough battle without having to face it alone, yet so many of us are left with no choice. From my own experience, I have been told it could just be my hormones, you’ll grow out of it, just take your mind off it, do other things. Trust me, I’ve tried everything to make myself feel better, there doesn’t seem to be any other choice but to suffer in silence. I am sick of seeing articles about why I have depression due to eating ‘this’ food or spending a certain amount of time doing something like watching TV. Mental illness is the same as any other illness, except you are unable to see it, nobody can see it, and you’re the only one who feels it. A doctor isn’t able to give you a prescription and take the pain away like some other illnesses. You have to fight to prove that you are actually sick and that what is in your head is the reason you act this way. People are so quick to judge and usually aren’t willing to hear the explanation behind it. The things that happen to us when we are younger have a big impact on our mental health, with the internet at our disposal in 2018, people come across things online that they may not have ever seen or meet people they wouldn’t have met without it. It’s surreal really.
Having access to the internet growing up, meant I spent a lot of time in my bedroom. I was talking to my friends on the computer, but I wasn’t really talking to anyone in real life, I would fear the outside world. Things were easier online, you could speak to people who got it. Those who cared enough to take the time to reply, even make new friends and sometimes even more. You forget the outside world exists. With technology advancing, we can get an internet connection in most places, and there is no escaping it. We feel the constant need to share, everything we do with the world, from our first child to when we get a new car. Each photo, status and moment you put out there gets analysed. You see your friends get engaged and despite being happy for them, it gives you an element of FOMO. Which makes you wonder why this isn’t happening to you and if it ever will. People post the parts of their lives they want you to see and this is always going to be the best version. As a blogger who regularly posts on Instagram and views many others, from the outside looking in, it shares these perfect images of food, body image, makeup and life. But in reality it’s not that simple, those shots take hours, to prepare. They’re taken, edited, probably edited some more than posted online. But those standards are high to live up to, we are constantly comparing ourselves.
Suffering from a mental illness, the guilt is a huge factor for me. I need a day or two in my house a week to recover, doing nothing. I often feel drained and tired and unwell after putting myself through so much, honestly going out in public for me is a draining experience that is almost impossible to cope with at times. When people ask what I did with my weekend, I often find myself trying to make up something interesting that I could have done, I didn’t do it. However, it’s better than saying what I actually did, which was nothing. I spend hours upon hours in bed, planning each element of my night, from the order of programmes I will watch to what I will eat. Even when I am ‘relaxing’ I am not. Everything runs through my head constantly, what were my numbers like at work, this person didn’t speak to me what did I do? I can’t go to that party next week as I can’t deal with it, will everyone think differently of me. I’m having my hair cut tomorrow, what if it goes wrong. I can’t face cooking tonight so I’ll eat pizza, the guilt hits hard with food, it’s hard to keep the motivation to do anything when I feel low. I want to lock myself and forget the world.
When you suffer from a mental illness a lot of the things you do, don’t actually make sense and it leaves you as a shadow of yourself. It’s terrifying to be in that situation and also to see someone you love suffering from it too. You can tell someone over and over it’s going to get better, but in our heads it isn’t, you can try to be there for us and we want to be happy, we want to get the energy to face the day and hang out, but it’s not that simple. We love you for trying and appreciate you for everything you do. However, at the time, it’s almost impossible to see you do the things for the reasons you do. From each time you’ve called an ambulance or forced me to go outside on my darkest days, you’ve done it from a place of care. In my opinion one of the scariest parts on mental health is dealing with not actually knowing what is going on yourself, how do you tell others what is happening with yourself when you don’t even know yourself? Sitting in a doctors office, trying to explain your mind and why you feel this way but you don’t have the answers. You want to get to the bottom of it, but even you don’t know how.