I have recently noticed an increase of people being more open about mental health problems. Not just because of it being Mental Health Awareness Week but because of wanting to help beat the stigma surrounding mental health I wanted to write about my experience/s.
Back in July last year I wrote the post Stress, Anxiety and Me where I admitted about how I was struggling with anxiety and feeling stressed. I thought today I would go into a bit more detail about my experiences of both Depression and Anxiety.
When I was at school I was bullied quite frequently. I was also the loner that no one seemed to want to spend time with. I had a few friends but there were times where I spent break and lunch time on my own. I've always been quiet and introverted and so maybe that was one of the reasons that I was picked on.
What the bullies didn't realise was how the way they treated me was affecting my mental health. I was also pretty good at hiding how was feeling too and no one can know the inward battle that others are facing. During my time at high school I had to struggle with suicidal feelings. There were a few occasions quite where I had time off school "ill" due to having taken an overdose without telling my parents and which made me feel pretty ill and which I passed off as a sickness bug.
Losing my Dad
I lost my Dad when I was 18 and this had a big impact on me. Loosing a parent at any age is heartbreaking but when you are suffering from undiagnosed mental illness its so much worse. I really did struggle and I am so thankful for Stuart for helping me when I was going through such a hard time. I eventually took the step to speak to someone where I started taking medication and having counselling. Over time I started to feel much better and was able to come off medication so that Stuart and I could start a family.
Becoming a Mum
Having Blake has also impacted on my mental health. This time round rather than feeling low and depressed I've suffered from frequent bouts of anxiety and panic attacks. I do feel that this is because I now have to not worry about myself but my child too. I feel constant worry about him, I still sometimes panic about whether he is breathing when he is sleeping and when he is doing activities such as climbing on the big slide or when on the swings and Stuart is pushing him high. I've always been a worrier as far back as I can remember and I also struggle with feeling overwhelmed from time to time which stresses me out. For me stress and anxiety seem to go hand in hand a lot of the time. I find that for example Blake is a fussy eater and when dinner time is a battle of not wanting to try new foods I end up feeling stressed which then makes me anxious about if he is getting enough food and all the right nutriants needed.
Reflecting on my life and things I have gone through and also struggled with makes me understand my mental health a lot more. I like to hope that I am coping a lot better now and yes I am on medication but its working for me at current.
If you are reading this and are suffered from mental health issues make sure you get some help. Its not something you should at all feel ashamed of, talk to the ones you love and trust, speak to your GP, write down how you feel, get your thoughts and feelings out it really does help.