Today I thought I would do an additional post about something that I think is important, so bear with me. I guess I’ll start with some background. Next month I turn 22. I am still at home. I am figuring some stuff out, and that is ok. I don’t need to have my whole life planned out and it’s ok that I am taking some time to improve my mental health. I have anxiety, low moods, low self-esteem and I started self-harming when I was 12. A bit TMI and normally I don’t like talking about myself but I am sharing this because I believe that it is important to be open about mental health. It is a part of me and I think it would be unhealthy for me to ignore it or pretend it didn’t happen. It has made me who I am today and for that I wouldn’t change anything.
I recently read an article on the BBC News site that Joan Bakewell (a British journalist and Labour peer) stated that anorexia among teenagers is a sign of narcissism. This clearly illustrates the misconception and misunderstanding of mental health as a whole. Anorexia (like other eating disorders and other mental health illnesses) is complex. It is a genuine and debilitating condition with an array of complex causes. You can’t simplify it to one thing. Now I do not myself have (or had) an eating disorder, but I have been dealing and struggling with my mental health for quite a few years now. I feel like in today’s society we just don’t talk about mental health and it leads to people saying things because they don’t truly understand what their talking about. We need an open discussion. People suffering with mental health need to feel like they can talk about it without fearing they may be judged. I think mental health should be talked about in school and kids should be taught how to keep mentally healthy. We have physical education, why do we not have mental health education? Surely we cannot have one without the other. I have first hand experience in opening up about my issues and starting to talk about it was the best thing that happened to me. I felt like a weight had been lifted. I was no longer keeping secrets and felt open to talk about it. However it is an ongoing struggle for me and I do still feel awkward (even a little ashamed) talking about it, but I am trying to move past that. I shouldn’t have to feel ashamed. No one should be made to feel ashamed because they are struggling. So let’s open up and discuss. Let’s get everyone involved, because the likelihood is that if you are not struggling then someone you know probably is and they could probably use your help.
Anyway those were just some thoughts that I thought I would share. I am sorry if it’s all over the place but hopefully you get the idea :). Mental health and awareness of it is something that I personally feel very passionate about. It is very important that we begin to talk about these things and accept them without judgement. Let’s create a society that is honest and open, because it will not only help those suffering but provide a better understanding and knowledge for those that know very little about it. It is becoming more common in the world and so people should be able to talk freely about this subject. So let’s talk about it.
See you next time