How many people do you know?
What sort of person sticks in your mind?
How many people have you had a chat with that really look you in the eye and you know that they are listening to you?
Would you recognise if the person closest to you, be it partner, parent, child or friend were quietly suffering?
Would you recognise if YOU were quietly suffering yet just putting it down to feeling a bit under the weather, that time of the month or feeling a bit flat?
Mental Health are a scary 2 words. It was to me. I envisaged men in white coats coming to take you away, or being told that you have to go to the doctor as no one else can help you, you then may take pills or go to therapy - aarrggh - you just want to feel 'normal'.
Telling someone that you had a mental health problem is still today (although not so much thanks to various awareness campaigns) has a touch of taboo, depression and anxiety should not be words to be frightened of. There is help, you only need to accept and want it.
So the definitions are so it doesnt look scary;
'Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of mental illness. It is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioural adjustment' (source Wikipedia)
Anxiety - 'Anxiety is a feeling of unease, such as worry or fear, that can be mild or severe. Everyone has feelings of anxiety at some point in their life' (source NHS.UK)
Depression - 'Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.' (source mental health.org)
It can be far too easy to say on a bad day when nothing seems to be going right that you are feeling depressed. For instance, the kids have spilt milk everywhere and the dog has weed by the door as you forgot to let it out, the toast has just burnt and you are running late getting the children to school and you have just seen that the car is iced up and the de icer is inside the car but the car door is frozen so you can't get to it....getting the picture?!
This isn't depression, this is just having a crappy day. Your reaction to these events that are unfolding in your day is the KEY. If you start to shout and loose it a little not only will you be getting upset, the children will probably look at you like a crazy loon and the dog....well...he is probably crossing his legs somewhere!
To say to yourself 'I am feeling a little anxious'.. about, say, going on a first date, or taking a test, is normal. It is defining when the anxiousness is out of balance and is more to the higher end of the scale rather than just nicely balancing in the middle.
Sometimes it won't be until it manifests as a physical sign that you will suddenly go ' oh that's not normal for me, what's going on with me?' What do you do.....where do you turn?
Having the higher end of anxiety which is the out of balance kind can give you the shakes, with absolutly no warning, it can leave you breathless, it can make you feel like shutting yourself away from the world. Anxiety can leap from no where and totally block your way. Anxiety can be like something frantic waving about in your face. It can make you incapable of making a decision right at that moment. Anxiety can be tiring, yet it can wake you up at any hour during the night. Anxiety can make your body ache. Anxiety can make you judge your own self worth, it can worm inside your head to make you doubt yourself, to make you question everything.
I used to have the most awful shakes and breathlessness and thought I was having heart palpitations. It was feeling like a rabbit being caught in headlights.
Fast forward a few months I thought that had all gone but it returned in a different way. I still recognised this sucker. This time I was prepared, I wasn't going to let this get hold of me this time. I'm way stronger now than I was then. This was just a check in. A reminder.
The difference now is in how to handle it. Life perspective. You know, crap really does happen it is all about how you react to it and if you let it get to you. I want to break out into song 'Let it Goooooo, let it go' (the wonders of having a three year old who likes Frozen!)
This is why I am so darn passionate about having created Breathe a Smile, it just evolved by itself and I need to get it out there as my daughters and myself are living it and the techniques involved really do work - honestly and it doesnt take long to get your head round them to blend them into your every day life.
You are never alone, even though at times it may very well feel it. Believe me, I have been there and I want to show you that it really doesn't have to be lonely and scary.
We all have a super power within, you may not realsie it yet, but YOU do.
Shall we find it?
Much Love xx