Today, Thursday 4th February marks 2016’s time to talk day.
People will happily bring up conversation about a sickness bug, a cold, even more serious and threatening conditions that take a toll on our physical health. But have you have tried to have a conversation with someone about mental health?
Conversations are usually take with a mixed response. Some people want to learn and other people are quick to judge. But the only way we ever grew accepting of physical illness was through conversations and growing understanding and the same is true for mental illness- besides long term mental illness has a significant impact on a persons physical health. A person suffering with sever mental illness is 2-3 times more likely to develop heart disease as just one example. And mental illnesses in them selves aren’t always survived Into old age.
I’m not ashamed to talk about my mental health, yeah maybe it’s not the most comfortable of subjects, I would also rather it not be true, but why should I hide away such a huge and time consuming part of my life, which opened my eyes to more than the latest gossip or what’s on t.v?
I’m not scary or dangerous, nor are the vast majority of other people with mental illness- and even those who are, might only need the right treatment or early intervention, which often is not found due to shame or simply not noticing symptoms, leading to the unusual behaviours. I and many other beautiful people I’ve met are just like any other person you might talk to or walk past in a day. And 1 in 4 of those have a chance of fighting similar battles to me at some point in their lives. I don’t believe I can change the world, but if what I’m willing to share could help someone, or someone’s relatives to not be afraid to reach out for help out of fear of becoming an out cast of society or being viewed as difficult or weak, than I will keep sharing what I can, even if I’m seen as annoying or weird, what’s one more judgment made about me anyway, I’m already crazy.
Individuals share their stories on days like today, not for pity or attention, but the break the stigma attached to such a large aspect of of our day to day lives. But we shouldn’t need specific days to have these conversations. Your mental health matters, even if you haven’t suffered from illness up to this point in your lives. Mental health doesn’t just refer to illness such a depression or schizophrenia, it included aspects we often see as ‘normal’. So talk about your mental health, talk about stress management or a new thing you have tried to relax on an evening. Offer someone a hug or just let a friend know they mean something to you. It might seem pointless or irrelevant now, but one day, the smallest of things might be more useful that you could ever imagine.