Monday, 8 August 2016

Lets Talk Mental Health

Hey lovelies,
Today I want to talk about mental illness. What is it? What causes it? How can it be treated? I will also be sharing my own personal experience with suffering with a mental illness.

There's a stigma attached to people who are suffering with a mental illness. The comforting thing is that we aren't alone and if people judge us because of it then at least we aren't the only people going through it, we're just as normal as everyone else and we can't help how our brain works.

What is a mental illness?
There are many different mental illnesses which effect millions of people daily through out the UK. But what really is it? Its a condition which causes a serious disorder in a persons actions or thinking.

What causes mental illness?
Your genetic make up can be a contributing factor in the risk of developing mental health problems, which of course is no ones fault at all. Head trauma and substance abuse has also been recorded in some cases where mental health problems start developing. Another contributing factor to the development of mental health issues is your day to day life, so work or school stresses, strained relationships, people who are unemployed for an extended period of time also can develop symptoms of a mental health disorder which could slowly turn into a full blown mental illness. Evidence shows that sometimes it hereditary and can be passed down generation to generation and finally if you have suffered a loss or a bereavement, abuse (physical, mental and emotional), the break down of a relationship/marriage has also been recorded as a factor.

What treatments are there?
The main treatment in the UK for mental health issues is medication prescribed by your GP, however that could be coupled with some form of counselling or therapy. In extreme cases where someone really isn't well and could pose a threat to themselves or the others around them, they will be admitted to a mental health ward at a hospital. Sometimes the wards you're admitted to aren't always in your local hospital as currently there are so many people who require that care that many hospitals don't have enough beds to meet the volume of patients coming into the hospital. There are also Crisis Houses which basically give you the same treatment as you would receive in the hospital but the centre is a much homely place and less clinical.

My personal experience....
I myself suffer from two mental health disorders, I suffer with anxiety and depression which are the two most common disorders currently. I sometimes struggle to even get myself out of bed in the morning. I have to make plans days sometimes even weeks in advance so that I can psych myself up for it and get my head round the idea that I will be leaving the house at some point soon. I fear going to crowded places on my own and sometimes even when I'm with others I start to panic. It took me a while to build up the confidence to go and speak to my doctor but its something I wish I'd done a lot sooner. On my visit I explained to him what was going on and how I was feeling on a daily basis and straight away he pulled out a questionnaire for me to complete, where you rate certain feelings and situations out of five. I completed my questionnaire and was told that I was heavily depressed and suffering from anxiety disorder. We sat and discussed my options for treatment, at first I wasn't too sure I wanted to take medication as I had heard nothing but bad things about it and how it makes you like a zombie and have no mood at all, just almost flat line mood basically. However when my doctor explained that there was more than one medication I could try to see what felt best for me, I came round to the idea pretty quickly. I was also referred to a local counselling service, which again I wasn't too sure about as i'm the type of person to keep as much as I can to myself and I didn't feel comfortable telling a stranger things about me or how I was feeling. My counsellor made me feel extreamley comfortable in the first five to ten minuets and by the end of my first session I was pretty much opening up about everything. Its a daunting thing to do, go and sit in a room with someone you don't know and open up but it actually is so helpful because they're impartial and they won't judge you and are just there to listen and give you the best treatment they think you need. Talking to someone you don't know is a lot easier than I expected, sometimes opening up to a stranger is the best thing because no matter how truthful or open you think you are, theres always some things you hold back from telling the people closest to you, for fear of judgement or upsetting them. The thing about mental illness is that you can have a 'good day' but that doesn't mean you're cured of your illness it just means today is a lot less shit than yesterday. One thing I had to learn for my own piece of mind is that my mental illness isn't my fault and that if I have a bad day after having some or one good day(s) i'm not a failure, that's how it works. You can be taking your medications and attending every therapy session you have and you will still have bad days, it takes time to control it and to not let it control you. It won't ever fully go away, there will be things that trigger it and that's not your fault. Think of it this way, your mind controls every part of you, so when your mind is the one that's sick you can't just try thinking more positively like you may be able to when you're physically sick. I suffer every day with my bad mental health but i'm now ready to stop letting it control me, i'm taking back control.

Useful websites

You can find plenty of information on google, but remember do not google diagnose yourself and get yourself worked up and worried. If you truly believe something isn't right then please do go and speak to your doctor.

Remember to follow me on social media guys - @xxbkt on both twitter and Instagram. You can message me whenever if you are needing someone to talk to, please don't ever feel like you're on your own because even if you can't speak to someone close to you, i'm always here.