Many images come to mind when you hear the words “mental illness”. There are people who think that person is weak or it’s just an excuse for the way they act. It’s not true. Mental illness is a real thing and it can be debilitating to that person and those around them. It can also lead to destructive behaviour which of course only worsens the illness.
I suffered a nervous breakdown a few years after leaving my husband. It was due to many things arising out of my life at that time, and I didn’t tell anyone except for my work (because I needed time off) and my therapist. I had everyone believing that my life was fine and that I was fine and nothing was going on. At the time, I felt that people would think I was so weak and that I couldn’t function on my own and what happened that caused this? So many things went on in my head that I believed people would think. So I said nothing. I slept all day, was awake all night and it was not a good thing that I didn’t tell anyone. I went to a really good therapist who helped me work out what was going on, and gave me great suggestions on how to cope with my stress and anxiety. I am happy to say that everything this man suggested helped me to get to the place I am at now. A positive strong woman who is a realist. Not every day is great but I know how to get into my head to deal with whatever starts me to stress out. Meditation is a big thing. Listening to music calms me down. Going for a walk. And sometimes, just sitting outside in the quiet brings me peace.
I was lucky. I know I was. Not everyone in this world who suffers breakdowns and mental illnesses recover as well as I have. Again, the stigma is out there. Let’s not talk about what is happening with me because people will think less of me. It doesn’t have to be that way anymore and there are ways to help. And people are talking more about this issue which is fantastic.
We need to let those around us who suffer from any kind of mental issue, whether it’s depression or anxiety or any of the disorders that they are suffering from, that it is okay to talk about it! It’s okay to go to a doctor and ask for help. It’s okay to admit that you have a problem and you need to talk about it. Don’t shy away from talking about it. Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t be talking about it. IT IS OKAY TO TALK ABOUT IT!
So get out there, seek the help you need, talk to family and friends and know that it’s okay. People are there to help you and to love you. You are not alone in this battle.