Readers! So this is a topic that to me is really important to discuss because it needs to normalised! Mental health. Mental health spans a number of different illnesses but two that I have a first hand experience with are anxiety and depression. It’s not particularly hard for me to discuss what I have experienced because I have had an extremely beneficial amount of help and support as I suffer and I am quite open when it comes to this. Before I actually was diagnosed with anxiety and depression, I felt alone and I didn’t think that it was normal or right to feel the way I did. I think it is incredibly important to highlight how common it is to have mental health problems and to ward off the negative stigmas surrounding them.
My story is strange because my life is pretty great; I was at a good school getting good grades with loving family and friends. It was only when I went through GCSE exam stress that I started to get anxious all the time and suffer from really low moods. If you couple that with starting a new school, a manipulative best friend and then being humiliated by the first boy I liked my life went, excuse my French, to shit. I began to isolate myself from my family and friends, at some points I was so scared of interaction that I skipped supervised study times and hid in the pastoral care block. Eventually life didn’t seem worth living. I punished myself for feeling like this when I had it so much better than so many people. After an attempt to run away, I divulged all to my Mum and Dad and they got me to the GP for help. Two rounds of therapy (group and CBT) and several different sorts of medication got me pretty much back to normal. It wasn’t easy and it upset me to talk through my problems or even admit there were problems. Last September marked a whole year clean of self-harming and I am so proud of where I am now. I am able to cope with so much more than I ever could, despite the bad days here and there which are understandable.
What I want is for people to see that even when your life seems perfect is okay not to be okay and for people without mental health issues to understand that you don’t always know what people are struggling with.