Time To Talk Mental Health

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As most people will know, talking about mental health is something that is very close to my heart, and I think it is definitely important to speak about mental health more, because 1 in 4 of us will be diagnosed with mental illness. If 1 in 4 of us end up struggling with mental health, then why is there such a lack of understanding or knowledge around everything to do with mental health?

I remember that first moment, waiting to speak to my doctor, I didn’t speak, I didn’t do anything but I was with my mum and it was one of the most scary moments ever because I actually thought that I was okay. In reality, I was the furthest thing from okay, I was finally diagnosed with anxiety & depression.

So why is there so much stigma around mental health?

Stigma can be attached to mental health because people have stereotyped views of people with mental health issues, this can sometimes be caused by a lack of understanding behind various conditions, so it’s important for us to educate and understand what it must be like for people with different conditions.

Many people believe that people who struggle with their mental health are likely to be violent or dangerous but in reality the sufferer can be more at risk of being attacked or harming themselves rather than hurting someone else.

Another problem with stigma and the discrimination that comes with mental health can be that their problems can get worse because they’re worried about what people think or can stop them from getting help that can help them to recover.

Other effects of stigma can be things like:

  • A lack of understanding by the people around them
  • Difficulties finding work, school or getting involved in social activities
  • Can be subjected to bullying, physical violence or harassment

From personal experience, I have found there to be a lot of stigma around mental health, especially online. People seem to think that the way that you’re online that you have the same confidence in person, ad that is something I definitely struggle with. I am this wonderful and bubbly person online, however, when it comes to being in person it takes time for me to be able to open up like that and be myself because I am definitely the type of person that worries about what people think of me. I know as a blogger that probably isn’t the greatest thing because you need a thick skin, but I’m learning and coping better!

How can we fight the stigma related to mental health?

This is one of the most important things in the world, because at the end of the day we should live in a society where we shouldn’t be worried about the way people will treat us in relation to our mental health.

  • Understanding that getting help is important – If you realise that you have a mental health issue or you’ve been trying to dismiss that there isn’t anything going on, when in reality you need to get that support. Remember that seeking help is not a sign of failure, don’t let that fear of being labeled with a mental illness stop you from speaking to someone. Treatment is available for a reason, and the doctors see this every day, you do not have to go through this alone.
  • Don’t let that stigma bring you down or make you feel ashamed – I know that is easier said than done, because you already feel bad enough about having that label, but you shouldn’t feel bad, you are an incredible person, you are allowed to feel any emotion you want, and no one should make you feel bad about your feelings. The most important thing is yourself, I know that is easier said than done, but people who don’t understand what you’ve been through or what it feels like to be in your situation. Please don’t let them dictate what you should feel..
  • You are not your illness – When you get diagnosed with a mental illness you might say “I am depressed” or “I am schizophrenic” but what you forget is, you’re not your illness, you have mental health conditions, but that doesn’t mean you’re defined by it. Instead of saying “I’m depressed” you say “I have depression” and instead of saying “I am schizophrenic” you say “I have schizophrenia.”
  • Be supported – Sometimes it can be easier to talk to a group of people who are going through what you’re going through, there are local and national groups who can support you through the times when you might prefer not to speak to your parents/friends about it. There  are programs available to you but you will need to speak to your doctor about programs available in your local area.
  • Realise that mental health affects so many people – It is increasingly important that people realise, mental health can affect anyone, it doesn’t matter who you are, and people can sometimes believe that to get over mental illness you just need some willpower, but it’s not that simple, mental health is a serious condition and must be offered treatment and support to help them through.
  • Make mental wellness a part of school learning – This is something that is very close to my heart, we are taught about discrimination of people, and bullying, but when I went to school we weren’t taught about not discriminating against people who have mental illness, and by allowing our children to understand what mental illness is and how we can help them speak up about not only how they feel but to realise that asking for help is not a sign of weakness or failure.

The important thing to remember is, regardless of your illness you’re an incredible person in every way shape and form, please stay strong!

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22 Comments

  1. 29/02/2016 / 9:33 pm

    Great post hun. I think breaking down the stigma surrounding mental illness is so important. No one should be ashamed if they have a mental illness. More education is necessary – and posts like these are a great start! xo

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      01/03/2016 / 7:53 pm

      Thank you so much Aimee, it honestly means a lot! I have suffered a lot of stigma so I want to do as much as I can to get rid of it!?

  2. 01/03/2016 / 8:43 am

    Such a wonderful post, mental health is getting more and more understood I think! There can be a stigma around it sadly, but hopefully people will start to become more educated!

    F x
    thefrancescadiaries.blogspot.co.uk

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      01/03/2016 / 7:54 pm

      I totally agree, I just wish they would start early when it comes to understanding mental health, that way there would be a lot less stigma around it!?

  3. 01/03/2016 / 4:46 pm

    As it comes with studying Psychology, mental health is very close to my heart as well. I think the stigma also comes from only seeing what tv shows etc. are showing of mental illnesses. Our society mainly believes that mental illnesses make people completely crazy or dangerous when that´s just the case with certain illnesses.
    I think education about this is the most important thing to taking down the stigma but I´m also noticing that our generation already is a lot more open to this issue than the older ones. So that seems to be a good step in the right direction. People like you and me talking about mental health also helps that to move a long a lot!
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      01/03/2016 / 7:55 pm

      I totally agree Lisa, I have struggled so much with stigma and the way that people are with me, talking about it more is so important! I totally agree with the tv shows comment and the way we are portrayed in the media, I think things could be different if people didn’t view people with mental health being dangerous or crazy! ?

  4. 01/03/2016 / 6:14 pm

    Such a great post with very important points. I completely agree that some form of mental health and also learning difficulties and disabilities teaching should be on all syllabus’s as part of social studies – if that even exists nowadays.

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      01/03/2016 / 7:57 pm

      I totally agree with learning difficulties and disabilities, I have a disabled mum who is deaf and a brother in law who has severe learning difficulties and needs carers so I think it is incredibly important to talk about it more and remove that stigma that is around topics like that!?

  5. 02/03/2016 / 1:15 pm

    This is a wonderful post!
    I like to be optimistic and hope that the increased discussion about mental health, especially in the blogging community, will help reduce the stigma. I try to be open about my mental health, when I can, because it helps me feel less anxious when I know people around me understand what I’m going through.
    I feel like mental health needs to be taught from a young age, as well as disabilities, so that people don’t grow up thinking that others are ‘that weird kid’ because they’re different!

    Laura // laura-wardrobe.blogspot.co.uk

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      03/03/2016 / 4:21 am

      Thank you so much Laura, it honestly means the world. I totally agree with you about being taught about things like mental health and disabilities from a young age, I think it could change the way things are dealt with in the world!?

  6. 02/03/2016 / 5:52 pm

    This was such an informative post! It’s so important to talk about mental health, we really do need to break the stigma! The whole you are not your illness I completely agree with – treating it as separate rather than it being you is so important!

    Hana | http://www.hanarosella.blogspot.co.uk

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      03/03/2016 / 4:23 am

      Thank you so much Hana, it means a lot! I want to raise as much awareness as physically possible!?

  7. 07/03/2016 / 8:54 pm

    This is such a great post, lovely. It’s so important that we all keep fighting to erase the stigma surrounding mental health. I recently started blogging about it very openly, as it’s affected me so much in the last few years, and I feel like it’s my duty to help others feel more OK speaking about it. It affects SO many of us, and it just makes it kind of ridiculous that it’s still swept under the carpet so often x

    Martha Jane | http://www.marthajanemusic.com PS. Enter my giveaway to win a MAC lipstick!

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      08/03/2016 / 12:03 pm

      I completely agree my darling! I think it is so important to be open about mental health because it is something that affects so many people, and I think the more that we talk about it, hopefully it will erase the stigma that comes along with it!?

  8. Roxie
    20/03/2016 / 11:03 am

    This is a great post. It’s scary that there is such a lack of understanding surrounding the subject of mental health and yet 1 in 4 of us will struggle with it. Post like these are incredibly important, well done for raising awareness.

    Roxie | The Beautiful Bluebird

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      21/03/2016 / 8:56 am

      I totally agree with what you’re saying sweetheart, thank you so mcuh for your incredible words, it honestly means the world! ?

  9. 15/05/2016 / 11:41 am

    I personally think we should be educated about this in school and did a post about why on my blog. It’s vital people understand mental health so we can remove the stigma.

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      16/05/2016 / 2:02 pm

      I totally agree! I think it is so important to educate people on what it means to struggle with mental health!?

  10. Hollie
    17/05/2016 / 3:06 am

    amazing post and so well written. I myself have started on sertraline almost a month ago but unfortunately they have not done me any good so i hope to be put on something else this week. This post will be so helpful to alot of people xx

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      17/05/2016 / 9:47 am

      Thank you so much Hollie, it means a lot! Please please do go back to the doctors darling, it is so important, not all meds work for everyone, I know that from experience because I have been on a variety of different medication to find out what works for me, you will find one, and you will get through this darling?

  11. 08/06/2016 / 2:32 am

    Posts like this are so important – I did one myself back in March (http://www.dearvictoria.co.uk/2016/03/03/depression-for-dummies/) as I’ve struggled with my mental health for most of my life. There is a lot of stigma around depression and other mental health issues, a lot of people assume there’s “no such thing” and those who are open about it are ‘attention seeking’.

    Vickie | dearvictoria.co.uk

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      amiecadwallader@outlook.com
      08/06/2016 / 7:06 pm

      Thank you so much Vickie! I have too, and it is one of the most difficult things in the world. I feel like there is such stigma when honestly there shouldn’t be, which honestly is the worst because we should be supporting people rather than stigmatising them!?