“Mental health has always been a very familiar part of my life as I grew up with a mother who has always suffered with severe depression and OCD.
When I was younger having a parent like this was very confusing and I knew there was something ‘not quite right’ as my mother was always very emotionally distant, and having not had her illness properly ever explained to me, I naturally blamed myself, and thought she just simply didn’t love me.
I first suffered with bad anxiety as a child, and have always had it on and off since. In more recent years I have been battling with depression and anxiety, and was prescribed medication, which I felt didn’t really work for me. I came off the medication, and recently asked my doctor again to maybe try something different to help with my negative thoughts. I currently work as a mental health support worker, where I can find myself falling back into negative thought patterns due to the work environment I am in. Although the job can be rewarding, it can also be triggering for me and I am now trying to take this as a learning experience and am finding myself thinking more and more about a career path that’s more suited for me at this time, that will make me happy.
One big thing that helps my anxiety is talking, I attend therapy currently and am trying to also incorporate mindfulness exercises into my daily routine, and learning to not let the negative thoughts get the better of me. I am also incredibly lucky in the sense that I do have a very supportive network of friends around me, who can really help me when I am feeling low. It is hard, and everyday can feel like a battle with myself but I try and push through. I write occasionally on my blog, and write notes to myself all the time about how I am feeling, as I find this a really helpful way to process my thoughts and feelings and help bring me some comfort.
Also reading positive and inspiring quotes online really does help me, although this sounds quite simple but it can be really, really helpful to just keep me motivated each day. Another amazing thing is exercise; working out does me the world of good. That can also be an internal battle with myself, and although I can be quite overwhelmed by the thought of going to the gym – (and honestly, I don’t always make it) but it is so rewarding once you have done a workout, and you feel a sense of achievement which instantly can boost your mood.
My advice to anyone suffering with any type of mental health problem would be to stay strong, and remember that everything is temporary. It can be so tough when you feel like you are on your own, mental illness has a real way of making you feel so isolated, but you’re not on your own! Even as I am writing this, I am reminding myself of this fact, because I too can forget. Talk to people, see a therapist if you can, write stuff down, write anything down, try yoga and mindfulness, read other people’s blogs so you know you are not going through this exhausting struggle on your own – because you are really not! Trust me. There is light at the end of the long tunnel, but you will get there.
One last thing – practise self-care! Do things that make your soul happy… take a bath, do a face-mask, go for a run, draw a picture, watch your favourite film, eat your favourite food or just do absolutely nothing! This is all ok, just listen to yourself, your needs and what your body wants. Don’t neglect yourself.
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