BY: Janine Mitchell
Comments: No Comments
Mental health awareness week certainly raised awareness. It got people discussing mental health, and being okay about it. Which I’m very pleased about. But it’s okay to keep talking about this. Great to raise awareness, but it’s okay to talk about these kind of things in general.
There is often a stigma around mental health, but there doesn’t need to be. Why should it not be okay to say if you’re not feeling okay?
We are fed so much information when we are young. And we take it all in, like a sponge. This will then often shape and condition who we are.
Men in particular are told ‘big boys don’t cry’ and ‘you’re not a real man if you show any emotion’, to name but two. Then this becomes part of our belief system. It can quite often form who we are, and be core to what we believe. This however doesn’t need to be the case.
So we often then find it easier, or more safe to not even talk through how we are feeling, or perhaps brush it under the carpet and hope it will go away. Sadly, it will be very rare that will happen. In my experience I have found that this will show itself one way or another. Usually via some form of maladaptive or unhelpful behaviour, which may well feel good in the very short term. However it will never resolve the underlying issue, trigger or symptom.
The mind is a muscle. Sometimes it simply needs a bit of TLC.
If your toilet breaks, you call out a plumber. If you need some building work doing, you hire a builder. If your car breaks down on the motorway, you call the AA or contact a mechanic. If your hair needs cutting, you go to the hairdressers. Want to lose weight, you join a gym, exercise or go on a diet. Any kind of problem we come across in life, we usually like to find the most reliable, prompt and suitable solution.
So why when it comes to the most important part of us, the part of us that keeps us going, that we rely on for all of our thinking, our actions and our behaviours. Something that is fundamentally integral to who we are.
Take stress, its a huge issue in society at present.
Recent research has found a staggering 73% of men and 81% of women in the last year alone reported feelings of being unable to cope and feelings of overwhelm. 84% of 18-24 years olds reported the same, 32% of this age category reported feelings suicidal as a result of feeling so stressed.
I have personal experience of someone who has taken their own life as a result of feelings of utter despair. I have also heard of similar cases in recent weeks through friends. A person who feels so low to a point they don’t know which way to turn, they take their own life. It’s so sad. But it is preventable.
I want you to know there is support out there. If you are reading this and you are struggling, or know someone who, please get in contact if you need pointing in the right direction.