How has stigma around mental health affected you?

For me, the first thing that comes to mind is how stigma affected my mum. This affected me because of the awareness mainly from my childhood, but still parts as an adult.
My mum has paranoid schizophrenia and having the title schizophrenia is enough, because of the stigma I remember around it. The stigma may not be as bad now as in my childhood, but I believe it’s still there, like any mental illness.
I remember as a teenager that schizophrenia would get bad press in the newspapers. It gave those with this condition a bad name, making it look like they were all dangerous, or violent if you had this condition, when it isn’t true. This condition would always be mentioned in the bold part of the newspaper when someone with this condition killed someone. I remember seeing this making the front page at times. This was newspapers in that time trying to give a sensational story line that sold their papers, not realising just what damage you were causing. I remember feeling really angry how the newspapers did this.
Thankfully now, newspapers have to watch how they word things, but I feel the damage from those days is still there. Do you?

People with schizophrenia are not violent people, but they can be a danger to themselves. But there are some people who will be quiet by withdrawing into themselves, as in my mum’s case.

I don’t like the word schizophrenia. But when I came to not liking this word, I don’t know. I don’t know if I hated this word when understanding my mum’s condition at a young age, or if it was the bad press if the newspapers.

But as I say, I think there is still stigma around mental health and because of this, it’s not something I will bring mum’s mental health particular condition into a face-to-face conversation with someone and mum is wary to do the same.

As you know I suffer with depression and anxiety. Depression has been good but anxiety shown itself since last year, as I blogged about. The past month or two, anxiety has not been too bad.
I have experienced stigma with my own mental health, things like people saying “chin up,” is not exactly helpful. Also, when you start talking about how you feel to some people, you realise from their responses they don’t get it after all as you first thought and that I am expected to snap out of it. Snapping out of it is not easy as you think.

It’s bad enough when people have to deal with their own mental health day in and day out, but when you receive unhelpful comments, cruel remarks, or just plain ignorance, that can create as much damage as the illness itself.

We have come a long way since when I was a child, but there is still more to be done. The royals are doing good with their Heads Together campaign I think.

How has stigma around mental health affected you?

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Blog post re-share: “Tips on looking after your mental health this Christmas,” by Heads Together.

Christmas will be you are either looking forward to it, or not. Christmas can be a difficult time for some and it is important to look after yourself, how best it suits you.
For me, I have already expressed for some time, that I need quiet this year and I have said no to some things, as I shared in this post; “To say no.”

HeadsTogether, has written a very helpful post on looking after yourself this Christmas. Click on the link below, which will take you to their page, where you can read more.

Tips on looking after your mental health this Christmas.

Blog post re-share: Stop saying “Committed Suicide.”

I have to say that I have used the word one time, when talking about this subject, “Committed Suicide.” But I basically had said what I had read, when talking about it once, to someone.
I wanted to share this post that talks about why we should be careful with our words and not say “Committed Suicide,” but instead say, “died by suicide.” After reading this post, you will understand why it is appropriate  to say “died by suicide.”

Please read: https://pickingupthepieces63.wordpress.com/2018/06/24/died-by-suicide-not-committed-suicide/

Dissociation

What is dissociation?

Dissociation is a self-defense mechanism that the brain uses when it cannot handle the current situation, or when it is attempting to process something painful.

When this happens, the person begins to feel unreal, sometimes they feel as though they are watching themselves go through their day-to-day activities, other times it’s an entirely eerie feeling, as if their body does not belong to them.

Learn more here, at Mind.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

#If depression were a choice

#If depression were a choice, I would not have witnessed as a child of the ups and very bad downs of my mum’s mental health. I would not have worried whether she would disappear again, like before.

If depression were a choice, after seeing how it affected me personally as a child and, also how it affects other people and their families, then I would not choose depression myself. Because after all, it is no fun.

If depression were a choice, I would not struggle to get out of bed some mornings, or sometimes worry about the day ahead.

If depression were a choice, I would not have wished at one time that I was dead and that I was of no use to this world.

If depression were a choice, then I would choose to not have depression. But unfortunately it is not that easy.

If depression were a choice, then I would not have needed the doctor, counsellor or my medication.

If depression were a choice, then my mind would choose to stop dwelling on things.

If the bad experiences of childhood (including bullying, if I did not have enough already,) and early adulthood had not happened, then I would be able to stop my brain having the memories of those days and re-living them.

Until you have been in my shoes, or other people’s shoes of people suffering mental health, then you do not know. So please do not judge.

What I experience to another person it is different. I know how my experiences affect me, but it does not mean I know fully how it affects the next person. I can only be there to support, or to just listen.

Receiving comments of the following I write below, that I have heard personally myself over the years, are not helpful at all.

  • You can choose not to dwell on things
  • It happened to you a long time ago and so you should put it behind you
  • There’s no point living in the past
  • Isn’t it time you moved on?

So until you have been in our shoes, suffered what we have suffered, you will not know how exactly how our past affects our mental health. So do not judge, but listen to our stories and try to understand how it affects us.

If depression were a choice, then I would choose not to have depression.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)

Talking therapies

As you know from reading this blog, I have had counselling in the past, the last two sets of sessions being very helpful for me.
This was because after the counsellor who I had for my first of theses two sessions, identifying my childhood past being the cause of how I was now.
Since these sessions have ended, I have been writing this blog as my continuing therapeutic way of dealing with things, as well as other things, like learning something new, remembering to give self-love.

I recommend talking therapy to anyone who is struggling. Talking therapy can work alone, or alongside antidepressants from your doctor, depending on the individual.

I recently learnt that someone closer to me was not doing well as I thought. After this person asked for advice, which I gave, I could see there was a bit more to it then the person was letting on, so I asked further. The person wouldn’t answer this question, as was concerned how I would feel ashamed of them, of their response.
I reassured that person, that I am sure you have done nothing to be ashamed of and that the advice I gave before would not help alone, as I could see whatever this issue was needed to be addressed. This would mean if they felt they could not be open with me, then to speak to a counsellor where you will not need to feel worried about being judged, because they are there to listen.
On answering further questions about what to expect in counselling sessions to reassure this person, because they have never seen a counsellor before, I printed off the necessary information, so they could self-refer. I hope this person does follow it through, because I know this person would benefit from it so much.

If you are feeling the need to talk to someone and have no one, or not confident in speaking to a friend, or family member, then please do speak to a counsellor. They are not there to judge, they are there to help.

I do recommend talking therapy, because you are in a neutral place where you do not need to worry about upsetting, or worrying a friend or relative, so you can unburden yourself. A place where you also won’t feel judged.

For more information on talking therapies, please visit this page at Mental Health Foundation.

 

© Elizabeth Fisher and My Wellbeing and Learning Journey.

Unauthorised use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to My Wellbeing and Learning Journey with appropriate and specific direction to the original content. (But Guest Posts that feature on my blog are not allowed at all to be duplicated, as that is their copyright.)