Mental Health

I have been thinking a lot about mental health this year. It has never really been on my radar to be honest. I have not experienced it. Not known anyone with it. It had not penetrated my naive, closed-in little world.

Until two things happened.

I had my little anxiety career hiccup thingy (see previous post) and I joined twitter and met some very amazing and wonderful people who deal with it on a daily basis, either managing it, attempting to manage it or helping others manage it.

I was referred to a counsellor by my GP at the start of the year to rule out depression. She reiterated a number of times that there is nothing wrong with getting external help when required, despite there being a stigma attached to it. It got me thinking about how its sad that she had to “sell” it to me this way. Do most people feel ashamed, embarrassed, weak when its suggested they see a counsellor or psychologist? I guess so, if GP’s need to approach their referrals in this manner.

So that happened. I had 6 sessions. Nothing special to note. I have anxiety issues – nothing I didn’t already know. Im not sure it was for me. But its there. If I ever need it again.

The other thing, as mentioned, that got me thinking about mental illness was joining twitter and meeting new people. Im not going to go into specifics, as its not my place. I just want to chat a little about the impact it has had on me.

I have been sheltered from mental illness. Grew up in a small country town, not many people, all good country folk. I guess if there was any mental health issues around, they would have been swept under the rug. But a whole new world opened up. Of course there were touching stories. And of course I wanted to help. But of course, Im no professional. I felt out of my depth. I was stressed. I felt helpless and hopeless, feeling sad for myself and my situation but wanting to support others, who were dealing with issues 1000x worse than my little identity crisis. All I could do was offer an ear. And in a way, it helped me, as it took my mind off my own issues! Haha

Both of these events have had major impacts on my life this year and have definitely piqued my interest. In a way, they’ve led to my return to study and choosing psychology as a path to follow. Well, for now, anyway.

I am not going to ramble on about this all day. It is just an interest in my life at the moment and something which I have so much to learn about and how to deal with. Full admiration goes to anyone dealing with this, in any way, shape or form.

To be continued…..

3 thoughts on “Mental Health

  1. Fen

    Working in mental health has been an eye opener for me, sometimes I feel like everyone is mentally ill 😦
    I had my own issues just after my Mum died, thankfully I worked through them and have come out the other side reasonably well. I do have some lingering issues but don’t we all.

    Listening can be the best therapy – you don’t have to offer advice or assistance, just hear someone’s story. It’s very powerful.

  2. Matt

    I can relate to this. My sister had anarexia in the mid 90’s, which is largely mental illness though obviously has a lot of physical implications. Just tuned our lives completely upside down. Back then it was still a very taboo issue, not talked about widely, & not as nearly as many support channels as there are today. The amount of experts, both in phyiscal & mental health, we went thru in those years…. But just the feeling of frustation about not being able to help stands out more than anything. Still, we were one of the lucky families – one day she woke up & was sick of being. Not as easy for many others out there I know.


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