I find myself writing this post because some people tend to not understand why I talk about mental health. As I’m sure you can imagine, these people are mostly those who do not (or don’t believe they do) suffer from mental health problems.
But I also think this would be a nice post to share, to show why I came to do what I do.
I also write about self-development and living better lives as an extension from mental health. I believe that if we are developing ourselves, growing, challenging ourselves, and trying to make our lives better, in turn, our mental health will be stronger, too.
So, here goes…
Of course, the first reason I write about mental health and self-development is to help people. No, not because I am some expert or because my life is so great and my MH is in tiptop condition. But because I believe that sharing any advice and tips can really help someone to make changes. If what I say gives someone an idea that then helps make their lives or their MH a little better, then job well done.
And the biggest reason is because it helps people feel less alone. When people came to my support group, they expressed how much they needed it because they felt so alone. Mental health issues can be so isolating. It’s not because you think you’re the only one with them, it’s because your mind cuts you off from the world and points out all the wrongs in your life.
But my words can be someone’s anchor to reality. All I can hope is that my words help people to realise they can cope, they can live good lives, they can change.
It may not come as a shock to some but writing about mental health and self-development helps me, too. It’s like a way of teaching myself what I can do to get better. It’s like a form of journaling or therapy at times, too.
I find out new techniques or information or I read something inspiring that makes me feel good and changes my mindset (if only briefly) or gives me hope, and so I pass it on through my website. Someone else helped me, so then I help you. Or I find something new I’m doing or thinking about helpful, and so I pass it on.
I believe that learning to cope with mental health issues or developing yourself is a journey; sometimes a long and arduous one. I’m bettering myself, my life, and my mind (slowly but surely) and I think it is only right to pass on any information that can help others, too, as I go on my own journey.
I’m all about lifting people up as we climb the mountain together, not being someone at the top of the mountain shouting to others who are struggling at the bottom.
There are many in our society who are still so naive as to think that mental health disorders aren’t real. That people with anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, Aspergers, or eating disorders (etc.) are just not handling their lives properly. That we need to just get over it. Fix our lives quietly. Stop talking about it. Just be happy. Stop being pathetic. Stop being so emotional and sensitive…I could go on but I’m nearly crying thinking about the things I’ve heard.
It is for this very reason that I will continue to talk about mental health as a whole – not just disorders and illnesses, but how tending to our minds is just as important as tending to our bodies.
It is a personal mission of mine to help change people’s views of mental health and finally remove the stigma for good.
If I don’t have a real disorder that literally affects my physiology, then why do I have panic attacks (sweating, not breathing, crying, heart racing, body numb, body on fire, stomach-churning) when I’m only hanging out with friends or family? That makes no sense. That is a fault in my mind, not me being “out of control of my life or too emotional.” Simple.
A big part of changing worldviews is education. I don’t blame the older generation for not knowing much about mental health because they were never educated about it. Heck, I wouldn’t have been educated about it unless I’d fallen ill myself or chose to study Psychology.
If what I write helps people understand certain things better, then great. I know I’ve already helped a number of people realise things about mental health that they never would have known otherwise.
Say the hard things
Life isn’t all sunshine and rainbows. It is only damaging to us to ignore the hurt we feel or the weight we carry. I’ve seen what happens when people ignore it, and it often leads to suicide or thoughts of suicide. So no, I don’t think we should be quiet.
Speaking about mental health and my anxiety and depression has been the biggest healer for me. It has helped me bring it out into reality so that I can tackle it head on, instead of silently fighting a battle in my mind that I have so often lost.
If my doing this helps others do it too, feel less alone, understand better, or make changes – then I will carry on.
Give a voice to the silent
Some people with mental health issues can’t talk about it. Either they’re scared to, or ashamed to, or it’s just too hard – I totally understand that. But somehow, I can. Even the ugly and embarrassing and hard to explain things. This is a gift that I wasn’t given by mistake and so it is my duty to speak for those who can’t. To speak and hope to inspire other’s to speak and share their truths, too.
And no, I’m not saying that everyone experiences these things in the same way – not at all. Our minds are all different and highly complex, and so are our lives, which means we can suffer mental health problems in a number of horrid ways. I share what I know from my own experiences and the experiences of those who have shared theirs with me.
It is for all of these reasons that yes, at times, my posts are filled with emotion. It is for these reasons that my posts may sometimes be “dark” or upsetting. It is for this reason that I can not stop writing about these things.
Again, I do not pretend to be an expert. Again, I do admit to writing emotionally driven posts. That’s because I am a highly sensitive person. I’m an empath, too, so I feel others’ pain and wish to alleviate it. These are gifts, though curses at times, that I use every week here on my blog.
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!