Currently reading this book rather appropriately during Mental Health Awareness week. I think it's a must read. So many of us suffer in one way or another with mental health (just like we do with physical health) , yet it's not spoken about as much and sometimes we feel like we're the only ones who feel like that. Tosh. We're not so unique. Others are going through (or have gone through) the same things. While social media might not be the place for you to air it, it's good to find a person or process that can help.
I have my mental health moments too and I find things like exercise, being outdoors, journalling, not comparing myself to others (old friends, exes and even people I don't know), getting sun, helping others, seeing people in the flesh (and not online), talking (not texting!), looking back at what I have accomplished and other tactics all help put things in perspective.
mental illness is not personal failure.
asking for help is not weak.
men with mental illness don't need to 'man up'.
make your mental health a priority.
taking time for yourself is not selfish.
your mental health is more important your grades.
mental illness doesn't always have a cause.
taking medication or going to therapy doesn't make you weak.
mental health is as important as physical health. ♡
A few years ago when I was visited by the ‘black dog’ a very dear friend bought me this book, and to this day they may not know the positive impact that kind gesture had. It was a game changer, to read something that felt so close to what I myself was experiencing written in a way that you couldn’t describe yourself to loved ones. Since then I have read everything by @mattzhaig . Reading has always been something that I have enjoyed, it’s been something that allows me to escape, especially when feeling down. So I’d recommend to everyone to read more, and especially this book.
The first person to reply in the comments section saying they’d like a copy of this book I will send one too. It has helped me and is something I read often when I feel low, hopefully it can help some else. #mentalhealth#mentalhealthawareness#mentalhealthawarenessweek#depression#grief#anxiety#headstogether#sane#mind#matthaig#dontsufferinsilence#readmore#mentalhealthawareness#reasonstostayalive
If you’ve followed me for a year you may recognise this post but I don’t think I could write this any better than I did last year ❤️ I know this is an unusual post but I feel I need to write this as it's Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK this week.
Did you know that for every person affected by cancer in the UK, over £1500 is spent on research. For people with mental ill health, it's less than 1% of that. Yet 1 in 4 people will experience at least one diagnosable mental health problem.
Whether you have a mental illness or are close to someone who does, I want to show my support. This is something that needs to be talked about. Mental illness shouldn't be a taboo subject and yet it is because so many people don't understand it, they have misconceptions and make assumptions based on what they see. But that's the problem,you can't see it. You could be talking to someone who seems perfectly fine but actually they are suffering inside. Anxiety,Bipolar,Depression,Eating Disorders,OCD,Schizophrenia,those are just some of the mental illnesses out there. The other problem is that something like depression, anxiety etc.looks different to everyone, of course people suffering from them can relate, but it's not as simple as saying "oh he has depression so he feels this and struggles with that". People don't have the exact same experience even though they may suffer from the same thing.
People need to start educating each other and themselves. Something that may seem easy to you, that you do everyday, could be something impossible for someone struggling with a mental illness. So just have a think and if you see someone struggling,don't say "pull yourself together" or "come on it's not that bad". Instead ask them how they are, show them you care and listen, a lot of the time just knowing someone is listening and showing an interest can help that person. One last thing I want to say is if anyone wants to help themselves or someone else to try to understand what a mental illness is like I highly recommend reading 'Reasons To Stay Alive' by Matt Haig, it's an amazing book! 'Alone we can do so little, together we can do so much' - Helen Keller
I am joining in the conversation because for the longest time I was ashamed to talk about living with and losing somebody to mental illness, and equally embarrassed about the way growing up with this has affected me too.
It’s good to talk. Sunnier days do come around again - yesterday in beautiful Madrid was one of those for me. .
. ‘Always, it is smaller than you, even when it feels vast. It operates within you, you do not operate within it. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky but - if that is the metaphor - you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can't exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.’ - Matt Haig
I cannot recommend the @mattzhaig book Reasons to Stay Alive strongly enough. If you have ever suffered from depression this book will resonate with you on every level. If you haven’t, this book will beautifully describe what it feels like and how to help your loved ones that may have it. It’s a brave book. An unflinchingly honest book. A book I know I’ll read over and over again throughout the years. Please take the time to read it. #bookrecommendation
In honour of #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek - Quote from Reasons To Stay Alive by the wonderful @mattzhaig - I highly recommend everyone read this book
I have suffered with depression and anxiety for ~10 years now. The only regret I have is not having spoken up earlier than I did, not asking for help quicker. If any of you reading this right now are struggling, the best piece of advice I can give you is Tell someone. Tell anyone. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Even message me if you feel comfortable to do so - it’s a start, it’s the first step. Mental illness does not discriminate who it affects, everyone is at risk of being affected at some point. And we shouldn’t be made to feel ashamed of that.
At my lowest I struggled big time; I felt suicidal, I hurt myself, I felt hopeless all the time and couldn’t see a way out. At times I’ve been terrified to leave the house, scared to be near my family, convinced that disaster was waiting around every corner, suffered through crippling panic attacks capable of shutting me down for an entire day. It’s the most cliche thing in the world, but if I could go back there now and tell myself it’s going to get better, I would. A hundred times over.
I’m still not 100% - I maybe never will be. But I’m worlds away from the state I used to be in. Medication, therapy, and talking have all brought me here. I have better coping skills for when the bad days come. And those bad days are more scattered than they once were. If we can actually get people to drop the stigma surrounding mental health, more people will have the chance to come forward and seek the help they need without fear. One day, hopefully one day soon, mental illnesses will be treated with the same respect and acknowledgment as physical illnesses and injuries. .
I think my favourite smell is after it rains, and you can notice it in the air. Almost like the earth forming a new layer of skin over a tender cut. When I walked outside I saw the sky. And some of the heaviness was lifted a bit. On most days that I miss Sophie. Something magical happens in the sky. It’s almost like she’s there giving me things to stay alive for. #grief#stayalive#reasonstostayalive#bpd#recovery
"It's okay to not be okay"
It's Mental Health Awareness Week and I've seen many people posting this phrase.
And it's true, in that it's okay to not be okay, it's not a sign of weakness, you are not your pain, it doesn't define you.
But that doesn't mean you have to put up with it. If you're struggling, please talk to someone, things can get better if you talk. I hope my friends or family would talk to me if they were struggling.
There are services out there who can help, I've had support from the NHS when I was struggling with anxiety and self harm, from the counsellors at university when I lost my best friend, and from a charity CSASS in Chester. All helped me so much with what I needed at the time. But there's many other organisations who can help if you ask.
The photo was taken by @aquabry , of a beautiful sunset in Nicaragua... One of the amazing things I've enjoyed since the time I thought I'd never enjoy anything again. There's always more lovely times to be had, more beautiful sights to see, and wonderful people to share them with 💙💚💛🧡💜❤️ #mentalhealthawareness#mentalhealthawarenessweek#mentalhealthmatters#reasonstostayalive#travels#adventures#exploring#sunset#beautifulplaces#beautifulskies#youarenotalone @mindcharity @timetochangecampaign
Mental Health Awareness Week
I have Depression and Anxiety.
Those things are a part of me, but they do not define me.
This Mental Health Awareness Week I encourage you to get in touch with your own mental health. Just like your physical health, you know when something isn’t quite right. You know you best. Use this week as an excuse to start thinking about what is good for you. What helps you?
For me, I like to make sure there are some elements of my life I am in control of. I like to exercise and eat well because even when it feels like I don’t have any control, I can take it back to my base level, a good workout and a balanced meal!
That’s not saying that quitting sugar and lifting weights will work for you, it might, but it might not. You do you!
“Depression is also smaller than you. It may be a dark cloud passing across the sky but - if that is the metaphor - you are the sky. You were there before it. And the cloud can't exist without the sky, but the sky can exist without the cloud.” - Matt Haig, Reasons to Stay Alive
“I have a thin skin.
I think this is part and parcel of depression and anxiety - to be precise - being a person quite likely to get depression and anxiety… I don’t fight it. I accept things more. This is who I am. And besides, fighting it actually makes it worse. The trick is to befriend depression and anxiety. To be thankful for them, because you can deal with them a lot better. And the way I have befriended them is by thanking them for my thin skin.
Sure, without a thin skin I would have never known those terrible days of nothingness. Those days of either panic, or intense, bone-scorching lethargy. The days of self-hate, or drowning under invisible waves. I sometimes felt, in my self-pity, too fragile for a world of speed and right angles and noise. But would I go along to a magical mind spa and ask for a skin-thickening treatment? Probably not. You need to feel life’s terror to feel its wonder.”
I haven’t really seen many scales of anxiety that have someone completely shut down in a blanket at the very end. This is a VERY real manifestation of anxiety at its peak, where it has been wearing on you for way too long and you are completely overwhelmed. Anxiety isn’t always rocking back and forth hyperventilating. 🖖
Chart by BL Acker, posted on @themightysite
Because it’s #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek I thought I’d share my favourite ‘mental health book’. My pick is Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig. If you are having (or have ever had) a hard time with depression I can’t recommend enough that you do what ever it takes to get your hands on a copy of this. Matt openly and honestly discusses his experiences of mental illness in a way that is comforting and reassuring to those who have had similar experiences - yet despite the subject matter it is also humorous and uplifting. It came to me last year at a time when I really needed it and it made a huge impact on me, I’ve been meaning to read it again ever since (and I have NEVER re-read a book before 🙀). The book is relatively short with concise chapters so it is perfect even if you are in a reading slump - I cannot urge you enough to take the time to read this book if you need a little pick me up and some support (in book form). 😊
Happy mental health awareness week everyone! Whatever you may be struggling with remember that there is support out there and things do get better, no matter how dark it may seem at the moment.