Taboo, crazy, pull yourself together…..no no no! These are just some of the stupid words associated with mental health. Yes the world has come a long way from the days of straight jackets and electric convulsion therapy. Things like CBT exist now ( a talking therapy) and many other treatments. But it still feels like mental health is still very hard to talk about. Why is that?
I don’t think it’s just because there are a lot of close minded people (which there are), I think it’s to do with the nature of mental illness itself. When you are so wrapped up in your thoughts, it’s no wonder it’s hard to come out of yourself for just five minutes, to try and get someone who is not in your head to understand. Disorders such as anxiety or depression kind of thrive on keeping you a prisoner in your own mind. It’s one of the worst things in the world, to have so much physical power but not the mindset to execute your dreams.
When you are in the throes of a panic attack or an episode, it can be hard to get back that grip on reality. Everything you feel in that moment seems like the absolute truth. It’s only when it’s calmed down, you start to see that your worst fear hasn’t come true. But then it’s dealing with the fear of having another attack and more fears rear their ugly head. It feels like nothing will help. But there is help. You can get better. And YOU ARE NOT CRAZY. Things I’ve learnt to do:
- Relaxation- relaxing may seem like a distant memory. But breathing exercises can really help you to come back into experiencing reality again, YouTube mindfulness techniques.
- Self torture- as hard as it is,try not to punish yourself for eg if you cancel on an event 5 minutes before going. You have a illness and if it was physical, no one would ask anything. You are in control of your actions.
3. Face your fears- A couple of years ago, I would have been like whaaaaat? But there is such a thing as killing yourself with kindness. You need to learn to face your fears. But don’t go into a situation unarmed. You can learn strategies to help you calm down in a situation. Together, we can all support each other. Never suffer in silence. Make your family, friends and doctor aware.
You can do this.