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Posts Tagged ‘mental illness’

 

I travelled up to the North East of England recently to see my wife’s parents. My wife (Laura) had travelled up a few days earlier, so I made the journey up in our car on my own. It reminded me when we were first dating & she was studying in Sunderland, whereas I was working in Liverpool. I’ve got fond memories of our long distance relationship. More so, considering most people seem to believe they don’t work.

I realised back then I hadn’t yet been diagnosed with any mental illness. So although I had suffered from, at least depression, I was blissfully unaware that was what it was. I never knew what I wanted to do, work-wise, back then, but I was confident I could turn my hand to most things. So I suppose my outlook was ‘the world is my oyster’ kind of thing. After just six months since I left Uni I had paid off my credit card debt on only £150 a week wage. I was confident I’d soon be in a job where I’d be earning at least the national average. At which point I would then start making repayments on my student loans. Meh, I never got there (there being the national average wage) in the end, but hey-ho that’s life.

It got me thinking of those ‘sliding doors’ moments in all our lives, where you think what if… My what if, is how would my life be different if I didn’t have a mental illness.

I know a lot of people say ‘I don’t believe in regrets. Everything in life has made me who I am today’. Which is fine, but come on, most of us have done something we regret & if we could change it we would. Personally I think it’s fine to have regrets, but the important thing is not to dwell & stew over them. It’s the past, you can’t change it so what’s the point.

What are your ‘What if’ moment?

 

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In this, the second & last episode, following six people suffering from OCD. We see how they finish their time at extreme OCD camp & there is a brief ‘how they’re doing one month on’ at the end too.

This has definitely given me a better insight into living with OCD.

There are more episodes to go in the mental health series & I’ll keep posting them on my blog.

As ever let me know what you think of this episode.

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Mrs Bipolarity recently wrote a post called Stigma Sucks Sunday: A Recap. Basically it’s about negative stigma spoken by people in the public eye. It got me thinking of ways we can make a change. So I’ve done a brief vlog inspired by one Mrs Bipolarity’s comments from her post above.

If you feel able, please follow suit & do your own brief vlog supporting the real faces of mental illness.

 

 

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I’ve posted below another documentary from BBC Three. This one focuses on OCD.

This is all part of the great effort BBC Three are making in raising awareness & understanding in mental illness/health.

I’ve been really busy lately & haven’t actually gotten around to watch it yet, but please let me know what you think about it.

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I came across this post on Weathering the Storm: Overcoming Bipolar Disorder, written by Kait. I want to reblog it, as it’s a great piece that highlights everyday stigma around, not just bipolar, but mental illness in general.

To go to the original post click here. I couldn’t find a reblog button, so I’ve also pasted it below, but the post looks better on Kait’s blog so give it a look. You won’t be disappointed.

 

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Mental Illness Affects People Individually

Photo Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

 Those who live with mental illness are not all the same. They are not to be lumped into one group or meant to be labeled. They all have characteristics and diagnoses that are alike, but they don’t exhibit the characteristics in the same ways as another person might. They are individuals that will display specific symptoms. Not all symptoms that are listed under a particular illness will even apply to every individual with that illness. Some may display more severe symptoms and conditions, whereas others may only display some or a less severe form of the illness. Due to each person displaying individualistic symptoms and characteristics, it makes diagnosing and finding a successful treatment plan extremely difficult.

 What comes to mind when you hear that someone has a mental illness? Is a little part of you afraid or cautious? Does part of you automatically assume they’re “crazy” and unstable? Or maybe you feel shocked because they don’t appear to fit society’s image of a person who lives with a mental illness. They look and act just like everyone else. Well, that’s because they are like everyone else. They are human who just happen to live with different obstacles than others may. Some people live with food allergies and can’t eat certain foods, while some are diabetic and have to closely monitor their blood sugar. Those who live with a mental illness aren’t much different when it comes to lifestyle changes. They may have to monitor their moods, eating habits, and even their stress levels so they don’t have a relapse (mood swing, addiction habits, etc).

These reactions to mental illness are most certainly common when a person isn’t familiar with mental health. This is why it is ultimately crucial to expand the education and awareness regarding mental illness and the truth of the person behind the illness.

 Due to the stigma, some who live with a mental illness often refuse to share, speak openly about their illness, or even seek treatment that could save their lives due to what others may think and feel about them (or out of denial too, but that is a little different). They may feel ashamed, embarrassed, and weaker than others for having to seek professional help.

 It is sad to think that so many will suffer each year out of fear of getting the appropriate help they need. We, as a society, need to work on making it okay and be supportive of those who may need mental health treatment. Denial of the existence of mental health, apathy, and lack of empathy will not make these illnesses disappear. It may only make matters worse.

 So, the next time you hear or say “He/she is bipolar,” know that it is incorrect. He or she lives with bipolar is the more proper way of putting it because if a person has diabetes or cancer, you wouldn’t say this person is diabetes or cancer. It is a condition that they happen to live with which involves treatment. Same rules apply for those who live with mental illness.

Mental illness is not as scary as it appears in the media. Just because a person who is said to have bipolar (or another mental illness) did a terrible thing that gets displayed nationally over the news doesn’t mean that everyone who lives with that illness will end up doing the same thing.

 People who live with mental illness are individuals and it affects each one of them in different ways. Have a heart, spread awareness, and help a loved one ❤

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