Mental health is a big topic these days and fortunately one we can talk about openly.
This hasn’t always been the case though. There was a time where you were shunned upon if you spoke up about your mental health. It was a big no, no something to be swept under the carpet never to be discussed.
What do you think?
Are mental health issues more prevalent and that’s why we talk about them more or are we just better educated about the importance of talking about mental health?
Here are the opinions of some of our bloggers! Leave your opinion in the comments.
Rosanna Hay – Our Whimiscal Life
Growing up, I never knew it was a “health”. I knew about physical and spiritual, however, this one eluded me.
I was 19 when I was diagnosed with depression. We didn’t talk about it. I was away at university, in a new town, living on my own for the first time. My doctor thought it was just culture shock at first. I had some sessions with the university’s psychologist, who then gave me my diagnosis. Getting that diagnosis was just the beginning. Then I had to start the medicine. Some medicines respond differently to others. Apparently the best one on the market just made me want to kill myself more, go figure. On my third try of different medicine, I finally found one that worked. Paroxetine helped me where others didn’t. I survived an 8-month teaching stint in South Korea and 6 months in Scotland.
Don’t get me wrong, just because I found a medicine that worked, doesn’t mean it was clear sailing. I still had my days where I refused to speak, (apparently voluntary mutism is a thing) and hid in my “blanket fort”. I was blessed when I moved to Scotland, to find a gentle soul who loved me, all of me. He is also the only person that has been allowed near me when I get into my “moods”. When I became pregnant, I had to come off my anti-depressants. It was scary, but I had a good support team. This is when Mental Health was becoming a “thing”. We moved back to Canada when I was 28 weeks pregnant. Unfortunately, I then suffered from an undiagnosed case of postpartum depression.
The final straw was when I quit my job and then directly afterwards tried to walk in front of a bus. Thankfully, I had my angel, my husband, to pull me back onto the curb. We got help. I have Social Anxiety Disorder, which is funny since I’m a volunteer firefighter and a customer service manager. My husband says I wear different hats, two of which, make me seem “normal”.
That’s just it though. None of us is truly untouched by depression. In recent years, there have been so much of suicide in the news of celebrities killing themselves. It has brought around the Mental Health Revolution. There are so many life couches and courses out there now that can help now. A healthy living group I am apart of actually just did a month of Self-Care and Mental Health help. It was glorious. It’s sad that we had to go through so much death and sadness for people to get over the stigma. No there is nothing wrong with you having depression. Yes, you can lead a “normal” life. Here in Canada, our main network provider started “Bell Let’s Talk Day” where we throw down the stigma and raise each other up. It also raises funds to help combat depression and mental health needs.
Each day is new and raw, I need to sometimes still hide away from the world (like I did today) and sometimes, I am out there in the world helping others.
All in all, I AM STILL HERE!
Rosanna Hay is the wife of Iain, and mother of Joshua. She writes about her adventures with her family on her blog, Our Whimsical Life. She is a strong advocate for special needs and mental health. She has had to keep organized with all her son’s doctor appointments and in turn, has become a planner addict. Lately, her new project is getting an ADHD support group off the ground.
Kathleen from Life By Kathleen
Mental health issues are more prevalent, which is why we talk about it more and we are also more educated about the importance of looking after our mental health.
I recently joined a gym. One of the multiple-choice questions on the signup form was “what is your main purpose for joining?”. It came with the usual checkboxes: weight loss, build muscle etc. But mental health was also an option. And I think if it is an option on a gym sign up form, we are more educated about it and willing to talk about it. I think we are all more educated about mental health than we ever have been before. And from what I’ve experienced in the last 10 years mental health is no longer a dirty word.
I do think a lot of it comes down to people being willing to talk about it. Which takes away the stigma. A few years ago at a get-together, a friend of mine who was due with her baby asked if anyone had experienced Postnatal Depression as she had a history of depression. I was so relieved to find that some of my friends had also experienced this and I chose that moment to confide in them that I had experienced postnatal depression. I can honestly say that if my friend didn’t bring it up, I would never have mentioned it.
And now because I have opened up to my friends about it I find it much easier, in general, to talk and write about.
Spoiler Alert: I joined the gym for my mental health.
Kathleen is the owner and writer at Life by Kathleen, a blog that focuses on progress through saving time, saving money, along with better or different ways to do things.
She splits her time between working at a digital agency, making spreadsheets for anything and everything as well as chasing after an energetic 3-year-old.
A Street Cat Named Fred
Society is better educated. As technology advances, so does our knowledge. 14 year old me way back in 1988 knew I was different from everyone else, I saw the world differently, and I felt more affected by anything that happened.
Mum tried her hardest to find out what was going on, but the research and findings that are available today weren’t around. No one was researching mental health, and the Dr gawked at the mention that I could be depressed. A child would never be sad.
Every day I am thankful that we are more educated. As an adult who battles depression and anxiety, it is a relief to know that I can go to my GP and immediately access services and help. It’s incredible to know that there are ongoing studies and a vast amount of research being done on mental health. There are Dr’s, Professors and everyday people, such as those who run this blog, who fight every day to normalise mental health. I am thankful that should my son start showing signs of depression or anxiety I can take him to our GP, and he can be referred to services so that he does not go down the same path I did.
I am grateful for the support that is available in the community. I have lived through two phases of mental health. One where I had no idea what was happening to me and neither did anyone else, so I just wanted to escape. One where I can recognise that my meds are not working the same as they used to or that I am under extreme pressure and can immediately update plans and medication.
Mental health problems are more prevalent. Humans put a lot of pressure on ourselves. Even though it’s great we have so much technology available to us to help with such problems, it is also proven that this same technology has a detrimental effect on our lives and mental health.
One day humankind will find a balance!
About A Street Cat Named Fred
Telling my story of how I overcame drug addiction and mental health issues to become an active member of my community and ultimate family man.
Anonymously telling my story for That Noise Is Mine means that I can educate others on the road back from the brink. If I can help convince at least one person reading this that as a former drug addict and suicide survivor I deserve my chance at life, then my job is done.
It is no easy road, the stigma and negativity attached to drug addiction have made my road back to a “normal” life that little bit harder.
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