Lets just say this week has the best timing in the world. I’ve had an unbelievably shit week and right now I’m sat on my kitchen floor with the dog because all of our windows have been taken out in the flat and are being replaced. Now any other person would take their dog out for the day but because I find it hard to leave the house as it is and add in a horrible week which makes it practically impossible to leave here I am… Stressed, depressed and not well dressed.
Where do I start with how important this week is?
I can guarantee that every one of you will know someone who has mental health, and if you don’t know anyone then either A) you have mental health or B) the person you do know hasn’t let it been known.
The stigma behind mental health is still there, discrimination around mental health still exists. But if we look back over the last 10 years we can see how far it has come. Not that long ago people saw many things that would warrant them to be sectioned and put into institutions. Now people have free access to amazing care and the majority receive the support and help that they need. We still have a long way to come and don’t get me wrong I still face daily challenges of people not understanding my illnesses.
Men’s mental health still has the furthest to come. While I can talk openly about my life and my struggles it is obvious that not everyone is as welcoming to men being as open. maybe it’s to do with the toxic impression that men should not “cry like girls” and need to “man up”. This is the behaviour that encourages us to go back and not progress forwards. Raising awareness is about creating opportunities to move collectively forward. It is for everyone to talk freely without the fear of judgement and the fear that people will say something because they don’t match their expectations.
What Are My Experiences With Mental Health?
I done a post a while ago about my Mental Health. I went on to talk about what I have and how it affects my daily life and how I am on medication. I have three diagnosis, they are pretty long but I will link them to the NHS or a mental health website so you can read more into them if you’re interested. My first one on my list is Emotional Intensity, This means my emotions are all over the place, I have spells of deep depression that I am unable to lift and I also have mania which means I’m the complete opposite to depressed. I will race around and I can become very impulsive with what I do and I also become hyper sensitive so anything can offend me. Number two, Generalised Anxiety, I have a series of panic attacks and other-thinking causes me to feel extremely anxious in all situations. I struggle to be in social situations as well as worrying over the smallest of things. This impairs my judgement with day-to-day life and makes it incredibly hard to live normally. Last but not least, Agoraphobia . I can’t leave the house without someone with me or the dog with me. If I even think about leaving on my own I have a panic attack and will cry uncontrollably. I would rather go hungry and not leave the house to get food. I had this before I got pregnant with Dexy but throughout my pregnancy it got a lot worse, I was extremely insecure with doing anything out of my comfort zone. Since Dexy died all of them have got a million times worse and I have had to up my medication quite a lot in order to help me cope.
Why Am I On Medication?
I got put on medication when I met phil as I finally decided I wanted to be stable and sort myself out. I had numerous amounts of therapy before then and none of it really worked so this was my last resort. The first lot of medication I was put on really didn’t agree with me. The Risperidone was so sedating and I was a walking zombie. I couldn’t feel any emotion and my brain felt completely flat-lined. Honestly, when I first started taking these I regretted taking meds instantly and wondered what the hell I was going to so as this was my last option.
When I got pregnant with Dexy I decided I wanted to be as stable as I could so I chose to go back on medication but this time I wanted to start low and build up to a level that worked but didn’t take the light out of me. So I went back on Sertraline and I started with Quetiapine. These sent me the complete opposite way for two weeks. It was like I took some really bad drugs and I couldn’t sit still. I was scratching myself and rocking all over the place, I felt wired but in some way I knew that they would balance out and they would work. After two weeks on them I saw a difference. I wasn’t getting so butt-hurt and upset over everything. I was coping okay for once. Then Dexy died. Oh lord everything went up in the air. I had my medication upped and upped and finally upped again. I was struggling to even breathe throughout the day. I was a complete mess. Now you may be thinking when you lose a child of course you are going to be distraught. But there is being “normal” over losing a child then there is Mental Illness+Losing A Child=DISASTER.
My medication lets me function on a day-to-day basis without getting overwhelmed, yes I still struggle with leaving the house and I still get extremely low spells but I’m so much better than what I was.
What Does This Week Really Mean To Me?
This weeks shows that people can talk about it and raise awareness to end the stigma. As I said earlier I has had a pretty shit week. I’ve had personal problems, Phil’s been away for the first time since Dexy died which I have found extremely difficult because I was just waiting for a phone call to say he’d been hit by a car or something.
But what I have also learnt and what I feel is important to say is. No matter how old you are that does not determine your life experience, when people walk your shoes then they can comment but everyone is so different and everyone has different experiences who are we to judge someone? Social media and Blogging is such a great way to share our experiences and find people who get it. So surround yourself with them people, not the people who make you feel bad for how you feel! As always, keep your chin up, pain never goes away, you just learn to cope with it.
I hope you all have a comforting Mental Health Awareness Week 2018 and find people who love you for who you are.