Mental health isn't as much of a taboo subject as it used to be but there is still a long way to go. If we want to find out more about mental health, there is so much out there that is accessible to everyone. But despite the amount of information available at our finger tips, mental heath is still a topic that can make us feel a little bit uncomfortable. Our own mental health is something we especially don't like to talk about.
It shouldn't be like this. It won't always be like this.
We have so much further to go in accepting mental health problems and being able to talk freely about them, as we can our physical health, but we're getting there. Maybe slowly, but definitely surely.
I often ask myself; what was the turning point in starting our journey to accepting mental health? One of the things that has made a big difference in reducing the stigma surrounding this topi, is people sharing their own stories about their struggles and overcoming mental illnesses. Everyone has mental health and everyone will experience anxiety and low mood from time to time but only recently have we really been exposed to this. With a number of business leaders, celebrities and even the Royals speaking out about their mental health struggles, it has been demonstrated that anyone can experience a mental health problem. Mental illness does not discriminate.
Being able to connect with other people and their stories, seeing others accepting their experiences and talking openly, can help re-enforce that it's not something that we should be ashamed of.
Sharing your story can help others to accept their own experiences and start their journey to seeking help and taking steps to manage their illness. The more we start opening up about the topic, the more we start to realise that they're more manageable than they seem. We can see that with a little help and support from those around us we can, and will, get through them.
Talking about your own mental health isn't just helpful for others, it can be good for you too. Sharing your story can be liberating. Speaking out can help you find your voice, re-affirm your values and help you to build resilience. Telling the world, or even just one person, about what you're going through or what you've been through and beaten, can really help you take control and realise that it won't control your life, not now and not ever. You're strong enough to talk about it and you're strong enough to manage it. The more we talk, the easier it gets. It's really hard to begin with, maybe one of the hardest things you'll do but it'll get a little bit easier each time.
So here is my story. Following years of struggle with anxiety disorders, I have created a vlog where I will share my own experiences of mental illness and top tips of what helped me to manage my condition. To watch the first episode, click here
I would like to thank Sabrina Meechem for her support with this.