“It’s been amazing to hear so many people whose experiences sound just like mine. I didn’t realise how many other people are going through the same thing.”
Here are just a few stories of people wearing their heart our for mental health
This is scary, but I think it’s important to share. Not important like achieving your KPIs or being on time for an appointment or paying a parking fine – important like a matter of life and death. Ok that sounds dramatic but I do believe sharing and talking could save lives. I want to tell you about how my life has been sculpted by my erratic mental health in a hope that you can learn from it and that it is freeing and comforting in some capacity.
My journey with mental “illnesses” – Wow where to begin. Anxiety and depression make you doubt yourself every second of every day. And those doubts then become your physical body. The chemicals are released and you feel from your head to your toes in every cell of your body that some dark evil monster has taken over your life and of who you are because you have anxiety or depression.
I am now 54 and can still remember the night my spiral began. I was 14 and attended a local dance. As I was leaving the strobe light was flashing and it was like I went into another world. It was frightening, my first thoughts were that someone had drugged me – that would have been an easier scenario than what I was about to encounter.
Most of the time, I’m a chatterbox, till I need to retreat into myself to catch my breath. But it’s incredibly rare that you’ll hear me share any carefully guarded secrets and feelings that render me exposed. I’ve become a master of obfuscation. I talk to anyone on just about anything, including seemingly deep issues, yet snake past anything that feels too personal. I didn’t want to belabour people with emotional stories or worries. But, more recently, sharing stories with friends or strangers has let me connect, comfort, and slowly heal, because I’ve realized that I’m not alone, I just have a different story. So, here I go, for the first time, broadcasting to you all.
My son was bullied at school in year 6 by the teacher Not understanding this could happen or was even possible in a primary school, especially by a fully-grown man I kept making him attend school. I thought maybe he was just a typical teenager and wanted to get out of school. I spoke to the teacher many times. My son, with genuine fear of attending class took himself to the principal and told them what was happening but by the end of the horrible year, he had a nervous breakdown. He was later diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, severe anxiety and depression.
As the grandchild of Holocaust survivors, anxiety is in my blood. I was 6 years old the first time I remember having an anxiety attack. I was in singing class and my parents dropped me off like usual, but this time, a tremendous amount of fear came over me out of nowhere and I felt like I couldn’t breathe. I was scared. This was the start of separation anxiety from my parents and from that class forward, I had to see one of my parent’s faces through the window for the entire class.
Not many people live to tell a story like mine and those that do probably keep it to themselves as it isn’t something that someone wants to admit to or tell the world. There are only a handful of people who know what I’ve been through and although I still have reservations about sharing my life story publicly, I feel it’s time to do so in the hope that it will inspire at least one young person to speak up or reach out for help before it’s too late. If my family, friends and I had known more about mental health, and if I had been able to speak up, a lot of pain and suffering could have been avoided for everyone involved