On World Mental Health Day, I thought I would share my own personal journey of anxiety and depression, something which I have suffered with for many years.
It’s hard to explain the way that your mind works or how you feel. The saying ‘snap out of it’ just makes me angry – I only wish I could! I feel as if I am in a constant battle, always looking for reassurance, hearing things in people’s voices and misinterpreting them, so something that can be said by someone so innocently to me, I will question and twist.
I am finally in a job that I have always wanted, something that makes me happy, but I have 2 personas – the work one and the home one. The work one is confident, assured and happy, the home one is vulnerable, paranoid and unhappy.
I’ve tried medication, I’ve tried counselling – neither of which work for me, but that isn’t the case for everyone. Everyone is different.
With me, mine is linked to Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (or ME) which I was diagnosed with at 18. There is still not enough understanding of this condition, and the Doctors, although well meaning, just prescribe anti-depressants as a way of helping, and again, for some I’m sure this works well, but for me felt a bit like just sticking on a plaster. I refuse to take them now, as they made me feel worse.
I know I am exceptionally lucky compared to some. I can still carry on with my career, others are completely bedridden. Because my job hours vary, I have to plan in nap times, to enable me to cope. But some days, I ache all over, a bit like a bad case of flu, my joints ache, my head feels muzzy, I can’t concentrate, I’m dizzy…. The list goes on. I have also had partial hearing loss and now wear a hearing aid, but I have noticed that if I am going through a ‘burn out’ my hearing deteriorates so I think it is also connected.
Mental Health is on the rise. In all ages. From young children to senior citizens. The pressures of everyday life and social media especially, do not help.
There is no cure, only management. The purpose of this blog is not a ‘woe is me’ but more of an awareness piece. More research needs to be done in all realms of mental health, and more funding needs to be given to train more professionals to deal with the rise.
Exercise does help, even if you are not fit, just joining exercise classes, releasing those endorphins, chatting and laughing with others helps. Come join us.
If you are suffering, you aren’t alone. Reach out, talk, it’s OK not to be OK.