Since I was nine years old I’ve struggled with mental health issues and have had various types of diagnosis and treatment over the following 13 years. I have now been diagnosed with bipolar and borderline personality disorder and have spent years feeling confused about who I am any my mental health struggles.
Mental health isn’t an issue that only affects young people, but it can be more difficult for the younger generation to get help as a lot of our problems are put down to hormones and environmental factors. Obviously, it’s a lot more challenging to diagnose younger people as symptoms may change, ease or get worse but there could be more support to help younger people understand, accept and manage how they are feeling.
YouTube is a great platform to discover channels and people who can support you, whether you want to just watch someone talk about their journey or you comment about your own. In 2013 I plucked up the courage to share my mental health story on my channel and it was nerve-wracking!
I think that we should share our experiences in a way that’s as real as possible. So much has happened in my life and I’ve experiences some dark days but I’ve never been ashamed of the struggles I’ve faced and I just want to help others to acknowledge their own feelings and talk about it someone, anyone. So many people discuss mental health and it can be a bit serious sometimes, so I think there’s the opportunity to bring some lightness and humour to the subject.
We so easily show our good days, our happy moments, fun memories but we feel ashamed to show our bad days, sad moments and tough memories which makes absolutely no sense to me. No one should ever be ashamed of their struggles or how they feel. Everyone has bad days, that’s just life.
It’s really important to make sure you have a good support system – my mum has been amazing and has encouraged to me upload videos when I’ve been scared to do so. Try and be open and honest - with yourself and others - and never, ever, ever give up. Easier said than done, but I’m living proof that it is completely possible and you may find support in places your never imagined. People on YouTube can be so supportive and there’s a big community of people who try hard to share their experiences to help others.
You can live a positive and happy life despite mental health and you will live a positive and happy life despite mental health, all you have to do is consciously choose recovery and do your best every single day - oh, and don’t forget, your best will differ from when you’re well as opposed to ill.
Of course, there will often be negativity but that’s just life. Some people will love you, some people will not. All that really matters is that you love you. As cliché as that sounds, it’s true. And I want to spread that message over and over until the world believes it.