Monday, 10 October 2016

Thoughts on Mental Health

Today it was World Mental Health Awareness Day.
A day that is extremely important for many reasons.

Mental Health isn't like physical health, but you don't need me to tell you that. Mental health issues often go unnoticed for a long time. We tend not to share emotional pain or mental health issues with others, it's a taboo. Which is a shame.

Too often we sit at work, we sit at home, feeling unease. For me, a person who doesn't identify as having any mental health disorder, I know how some days it can all get too much. There have been days where I haven't wanted to get out of bed, to go to work, to face people. There has been days where I have wanted to break down in tears, there has been days where I have broken down in tears, in meeting rooms with understanding team leaders, on my own in a secluded part of the office building.

You could say I have a minor form of social anxiety. I would be inclined to agree with you. Some days I feel so anxious and panicked at work that my chest is tight and there is a lump in throat. I haven't yet been to the doctor. Although I did go this time last year because I was feeling on the verge of a breakdown. The doctor at the time chalked it down to stress. I am a worrier. I will freely admit that.

What I do find useful though, is talking to others about how I'm feeling. Family, friends. three out of the five people I spoke to recently told me that at some point they had felt the same. I was not alone in my 'odd' behaviour. My feeling of blue was familiar to them. They identified with my need to get through life as a series of hurdles. A number of unpleasant events, rewarded by nice things; a day off, drinks after work, a shopping trip.

What I did take away from today, from all the wonderful things said on social media, was that it always helps to talk. Mental health issues although difficult to admit to are felt by many. And often it is just good to talk.

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