It seems sad to me that people often get criticised for expressing their struggles with mental health. This is tough when you’re actively encouraged to talk about it more. As a society, I think we still regard it as a relatively taboo subject. Honestly, we shouldn’t. It’s something so strong and gripping that needs to be discussed. So that’s what I’m going to do – discuss my mental health.
I’ve been suffering from anxiety from the age of 11. Secondary school, at times, was horrific and that continued right through college. I took the scary plunge and sought help at the age of 17 after a horrible breakdown. I got put on medication and I got better with the help of therapy, my family and friends and the drugs.
Fast forward two years and I’d decided that I no longer needed the medication. I came off of it – probably too quickly – but felt fine nonetheless. Four months went by and I wasn’t myself. I was slipping into the spiral of uncontrollable sadness coupled with crippling anxiety. I didn’t enjoy doing fun things, and I certainly didn’t want to think about going to a job that, quite frankly, made me ill.
I finally cracked at the end of August and took myself to the doctors, in floods of tears. I broke down in the doctor’s room and I knew deep down that I’d done the right thing.
I had to delay my move back to London while I battled with the grim side effects of Sertraline once again, but I persevered. While it’s six months on, I still have days where I want to go to sleep for a long period of time. I still find it hard to motivate myself, and I have a toxic lack of self-belief.
A coping mechanism for me is to write down my feelings – so while it may seem odd to you, reading something very personal about me, it helps my head to know where I stand. It helps in a way that I struggle to explain, but I just know that it does do some good.
I’m also incredibly open with my friends about how I’m feeling. I bottled my emotions up for a very long time and it made me sick. Talking does relieve pressure, and it also helps you realise that you aren’t alone.
In fact, I would go as far to say that talking about mental health is fundamental. So please, don’t judge anyone if they say they’re having a bad time, or they’re posting aobut being sad again. We all have our ways to make ourselves feel better. And, you may think I’m exaggerating, but it may just save a life.