So its time to talk day once again and the mental health charity Time to Change is asking the UK to talk about mental health in a bid to reduce stigma.
Personally I have lived, either well or ill with depression since my late teens. During that time I have had four major depressive episodes, three lots of face to face councelling and done the lightening process course (all private, the latter I held a cake sale to raise money for my own therapy). As well as a six week over the phone cbt course and ongoing medication from the NHS.
If I hadn’t had sypathetic family, friends and work colleagues, I would never have been able to be so proactive.
It saddens me that there is so much out there that can be of genuine help to those suffering from depression and other mental health difficulties, but the government doesn’t even cover the cost of extreme crisis.
There aren’t even enough services for fire fighting, and as a consequence, people are going up in flames.
And people forget that even when you are well enough to go back to work, it isn’t over.
I continue to keep an eye on what I eat and how much sleep I get. I exercise regularly, do mindful meditation and pray. I also take antidepressants and work part time.
It means I am well and productive most of the time. And and yet when it comes to talking about mental health to others, I find I get pigeon holed – it’s “my thing” (just like environmental care is apparently) and yet surely it’s all of our thing?
I expect I need to learn better ways of approaching the topic, but also I have a plea – please remember it really is your thing too.
When I try to discuss my own mental health, I find people tend to panic if I say “I’m not so well right now” and respond by parenting me.
You know the kind of thing “no you can’t do that it’s too much for you ” um, how would you know what is or isn’t too much for me when you haven’t asked?
Of course, people are kind and we’ll meaning, but I have discovered it is easier not to say anything unless I am so ill I feel I can’t do my job properly.
On the flip side, I have never suffered from serious prejudice – I told my present employer that I have depression and they still employed me.
So there you have it, I have talked and shared. If you would like to continue the conversation, feel free to comment, I will of course read and reply to you.