It’s been four years since I passed my driving test, however some days the thought of getting into my car and being responsible for the piece of metal fills me with fear. I have an overactive imagination when it comes to most things, and some days, all I can think about is a short 5-minute journey and everything that I did ‘wrong’ whilst driving. I can spend hours dissecting whether I went through a traffic light on green, amber or red when in reality I know the light was green and was followed by probably 10 cars. However, I cannot accept this unless I have thought about every other possible scenario and ruled them out. It can therefore be extremely stressful having to drive to certain places and I find that I can’t enjoy my day out because I’m too stressed about driving home and thinking about the journey to my destination.
It is common practice to have at least a yearly check-up with your general practitioner. No one would question you for taking time to have a physical examination of your health. This is what any responsible health conscious person would do. We understand that our physical wellbeing is important and must be monitored. We are aware that over the course of a year our bodies have changed, we have added a good deal of mileage to ourselves. If it was your car, you would take it in to the garage for an oil change, and to make sure everything still checks out fine. This is a logical practice. Why is it then that we do not afford the same sort of care to our mental health?
Looking to the future, there are many aspects of mental illnesses that need to be further investigated. However, gaining funding for research into mental illnesses can be hard to come by, this is mostly because many mental illnesses are not deemed to have severe physical impacts on the body, and therefore the results for the research will never be able to cure mental illnesses.
To celebrate World Mental Health Day, Emma and I are posting a two-part blog post; Part One discussing the past of mental health, and Part Two looking into the present and future. We want to highlight how far mental health awareness has come, whilst also recognising how we can still change the perception of mental illness.
Email, text, letter, fax, aeroplane message in the sky...
Seriously - anything other than speaking!
I’m still not entirely sure how people can casually converse on the phone (and in person really) seemingly without any effort at all. This aversion to communicating over the phone is one that is certainly shared amongst the anxious community on a very large scale. This post is intended to give simple guidance to anyone who may share the same concerns.
Graduating from university is a significant occasion, a time of celebration with family and friends. However, the thought of graduating filled me with dread, mostly because of the unknown. How will the ceremony work? How long will I be on stage for? But then also, what do I do with my life now? The closing of this chapter, hit me hard, it was the first time I truly felt like I was an adult with many responsibilities.
This blog post aims to highlight the reason we decided to start this website. Although we will never give out details such as where we live and the names of the schools and universities we attended, we felt that the scene needed to be set, so you could identify with our upcoming blog posts better.
At the darkest point of my life, I struggled to stay connected with the world. Seeking solitude, I pushed away my responsibilities; being a parent, paying the bills associated with trappings of modern living; fear of failing in my job as a computer programmer. I hated work; my children exhausted me; my partner didn’t understand what was happening. Medication seemed to numb my feelings so I didn’t care anymore. But a little black guinea pig called Piggy saved me. She had lived with Roger the rabbit until I realised he was being amorous with her. She was brought into the house and I would sit with her for hours. She let me feed her, groom her, talk to her. She slept on me, she purred and would lick me. Those moments gave me the hope I needed to believe I would enjoy life again.
Breaking the Stigma is a platform where members of the public of any age and background can share their personal stories and experiences. Whether it is a short article about your personal experience with mental illness or about somebody close to you, or perhaps just a few helpful tips that you have found useful. All is welcome!