Today is “Time to Talk” Day. It’s a day that encourages everyone to talk about mental health. I feel that it is so important to talk about this, as it is an illness that there is still so much stigma surrounding, yet it is just that, an illness and it affects one in four of us.
My own life has been surrounded by mental health issues including my own and others around me. I was a massively under-confident teenager, scrabbling around trying to make sense of the world and this affected my ability to make friends and my self esteem. As i grew up I drew on my experiences to make me into a stronger person. For others, it’s not so easy. My partner has always suffered with depression and my children have as well. I can tell when James is low, and it’s not always easy as he can deflect his feelings over and be irritated easily. I’m glad that I (sometimes) recognise it, as it allows us to talk about it more openly and him to sometimes acknowledge how he’s feeling himself.
For my children it has been a constant battle. With my daughter I don’t really remember a time when she wasn’t depressed, which is sad in itself. She has suffered with this all her life and this has really affected her ability with friendships and introversy. She was bullied at school. There is a question mark around Borderline Personality Disorder. She has recently gone through a very dark period in her life. I credit the picture to her as it is one of her passions, and he is now on a brilliant journey finally studying her passion of art at university and bringing it to life.
With my son, it’s been difficult, because unlike my daughter who is much more open, he is very closed off. I guessed from around 14 that he had depression, but he would never admit it to me when I asked him about how he was feeling. He was introverted, yet despite having friends he never really went out of his way to socialise with them. He lacked motivation with most things. He’s so bright and went off to university to study Chemical Engineering, but after going through some traumas he didn’t complete his degree and eventually came home. He has battled through some really hard times, and he still has some way to go. He is however working in a very good job (though possibly not his passion, which he hasn’t really worked out yet), putting his life in order and planning an amazing trip away travelling.
I am so proud of all of them. There is no quick fix to mental health but talking is a start. Find someone you trust and open up to them about your feelings. It’s not a demon you want to face by yourself. #TimeToTalk