This blog is something that has taken me a lot of time and strength to write, and its a huge step out of my comfort zone but what better time to share this than on Mental Health Awareness Week. Yes, Mental Health exists and it’s time to break the stigma as 1 in 4 are said to have mental health issues; and I’m a 1 in those 4.
So yes, my name is Molly. I blog. I’m rather happy, and I enjoy lots of things, but I do in fact have anxiety too, so I’m going to highlight some of my story, explain more on why I’m sharing this and my advice.
What’s my story?
I don’t want to bore you with the nitty-gritty details, but I have anxiety. The definition of anxiety means “a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease about something with an uncertain outcome”. Doesn’t sound like much right? Wrong. You can read the full definitions and symptoms here, as there’s a lot more to it than that.
Anxiety has many different forms and focus points. For me personally though, my anxiety tends to revolve around new social situations, confrontation, and alcohol. And my symptoms can be anything from a minor niggling thoughts in my mind right up to the physical symptoms listed on the above link.
Why should you care?
I decided to share this because for a long time I think I lived with it not really understanding what it was. I only realised what it was I was suffering by a chance reading of some facts in high school, and realising 95% of the anxiety symptoms were relevant to me.
Once I understood, for a while it scared me, as I didn’t know what this meant for me. I questioned whether it would ever leave me and I didn’t really know who I could talk to. However, since “diagnosing” it, it’s taught me a few things:
1) That understanding it and coming to grips with it can be really beneficial in helping you improve. I’m not saying this is the case for everybody, but personally once I had a little more knowledge on the issue, it encouraged me to make changes, try to discover techniques/tricks/etc that would help me, and find strength to battle against it.
2) It’s proven why it’s important we are educated on mental health, and that the stigma is broken. If it hadn’t been for my own research, would I still be unsure on what the issue was? Would anyone else be educated enough to notice? Are other people suffering in silence due to fear of judgement, or not wanting to admit it to themselves?
Personally, what can be done to make it “better”?
Personally, I’m still facing my battles and there are good and bad days. But with time, I’ve definitely learnt to manage things better (most of which has been self-taught).
The key thing I want anyone going through hardship to know, is that no matter how awful it may feel in the moment, it will get better. We all have the strength within us, it’s just not always easy to believe. It’s no easy fight, but it’s not an impossible one. We are strong, and don’t let anyone ever tell you any differently.
Also, while there may be flaws in the current system there are support networks out there, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help and to talk about it. We shouldn’t have to be ashamed of who we are, and we are worthy of getting the help we need and deserve.
Alternatively, I’m happy to listen if you want me to!
Generally, what can be done to make it “better”?
I believe there is a number of things to be done to improve things, but above all I believe it’s as simple as education and conversation.
I know this sounds slightly repetitive, but while there is a great number of people, places and things doing great work; there’s still a lot of room for improvement. We should be educating in schools and the workplace. We should be openly talking. We should not be using mental health as slogans on t-shirts, or adjectives in everyday conversation. We just need to break the stigma, because it’s okay not to be okay.
It may seem like there’s a new mental health campaign every week; but if that’s what it takes for us 1 in 4 to get the same type of attention and treatment as those with physical health issues, then so be it.
♥ MOLLY THE BLOGGER ♥
PS: I just want to thank you for reading if you made it this far. I really appreciate it. I also just want to make a disclaimer that I hope I haven’t upset anyone in any way, as I know this is a difficult topic to cover as it’s so different for everyone. However this is mostly aimed at focusing on my personal experience and views, and I just wanted to share that with you to encourage others to keep speaking out and breaking the stigma as I really do believe more needs to be done for mental health issues.