Mental Health awareness week... the bright side
Hi there, so it's very appropriate for me to be writing this this week as it's Mental Health Awareness week. Even though we talk more openly about mental health issues these days, it's still not enough. So this week I've been working on something I've been planning for quite a while.... but I'll get to that soon enough.
I can talk about mental illness because I suffer from Reactive Depression, so I know first hand how hard it can be to live life with an illness that can be just as crippling as a physical disorder. And it really is debilitating at times. More so because a lot of mental illnesses fluctuate, so there's never a normal day, you never feel balance. You have so many ups and downs that it can, at times, be worse than suffering an illness that's constant.
Last week for me was an extremely tough week. I was so low that I practically cried constantly, apart from when I put a brave face on when I was out in public. After all, no-one wants to be judged for randomly crying at a packet of extra mature cheddar cheese, and I doubt very much people want to see it! But what I can say, although it doesn't feel that way at the time, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. Even if the relief is just for a week or a day, it'll come.
If you are struggling, talk about it. there's so many facilities these days that we can access to help cope, or gain advice about managing it. Do not suffer alone. If people around you are judging you, don't be around them... find a new support system. But please first, check that that is the case. You may feel like you're being judged, but it may not be the truth. Mental illness can play havoc with your thought processes.... and although you think that's what's happening, they may actually not even have a clue you're even struggling. Even if you comment on this blog post.... I'll be listening. Reach out, don't suffer alone!
It's not always easy for people to talk about, both for sufferers and people who luckily will never know what it feels like to have a mental illness. Us British are a community built on stiff upper lips and pats on the back whilst saying 'chin up old chap' . It makes everyone involved uncomfortable. What do you say to someone who doesn't know why they're sad, or on the flip side are bouncing off the walls because they're in a manic cycle?
For those that are so down, that they consider harming themselves because they think the world would be a better place, it is tough to know what we can say to them that will make them feel differently...... even though it's simply just not true. Another example is when someone suffers a loss of someone that's close to them... nothing you can say will make them feel better at that time.... but sometimes, all it takes is saying nothing at all. Just being there, spending time with them, even if not a word is spoken, can be enough.
So.... take care to notice any small changes in people, pulling away, or subtle changes in the way they do things is really important. They may possibly be more irritable or their smile doesn't quite reach their eyes. Talk openly, don't judge and accept that mental illness is a very real issue. And most of all be understanding and accepting.
Enter my new happy pills....... if there was a pill that we could all pop to help us feel better, and cure our illnesses I know we'd all take it. But until then.... alongside your actual medication, I got in my lab and came up with my happy pill range. It's simply meant to raise a smile. So whether it's a little gift to show someone you care, and to put a smile on someones face that is going through a tough time, there's something for everyone.
It's not meant to take away from the fact that a lot of us are rattling because we're on so much medication, but more to make it easier to start a conversation, or let someone know that you're there for them should they need you. To remind them every time they see it, that they do have a support network, that you do care, and that you want to help them be free of the burdens they feel on a daily basis.
I want to also add, that there is no shame in taking medication for mental illness. It's exactly the same as taking pills for high blood pressure, yet there's no stigma with that. So why should there be for anti depressants etc? In my eyes I don't see the stigma, but that's possibly because I am open, honest and feel no shame in my illness, but I totally understand why people who are on medication for mental illness feel this. It's not coming from them, it comes from society creating a stigma where there should be non.
So... lets end this stigma!!!!!!
I have lots coming out, some a little more naughty for those with a wicked sense of humour. They're slowly being added to my shop. There's one even for mum's and dad's, that are bogged down with managing the kids and work and life, especially when the kids are throwing a tantrum for the 5th time in the space of an hour and you feel you just can't cope any more and want to throw in the towel! Tantrum-adol may not be the cure, but it will sure help ease the pain!
They even make great birthday or Father's day gifts! (although remember if he's grumpy because he's depressed, tread carefully and talk to him about it... but for those who are just grumpy because of the fun of it.......)
But... if you feel you need a specific pill designing, get in touch!!!!
I hope you see the fun in these, and it gets you talking about worries and stresses you feel on a daily basis.... sometimes we all, whether you're suffering a mental illness or not, need a Fuckitol!!!!!