So look at this picture… what do you see? A broken leg? Now theres a story that goes with this that meant a lot to me metaphorically. This was actually a picture of my foot in cast after a nurse had to practise on me. Then a thought crossed my mind.. you can see physical illness or injury, but you never notice mental illness.
People close to you may pick up on your mood changes, but aside from those few and I mean very few close people, no one notices. But if you broke your leg/arm for example people would notice and may even question you how did you do that? Then they respond with sympathy.
Now try telling someone that you had a breakdown, you can see sympathy but they cannot respond, thats where the stigma of mental health lies.. Not many people understand and thats ok, those people will stand by us but from a distance. Not many know what to say, thats also ok its probably best they keep quiet.
One family member rang me everyday asking not just how I was, but how I was really feeling. This family member had noticed a change in me way before the wobble. This family member helped me by just calling everyday and checking up on me. I am grateful for this person noticing my downfall after all I didn’t break a bone nor did I have an injury, but actually I was ill and I was suffering. Thank you for noticing, it takes a special person to realise you are ill, even though you look ‘fine’.
Thank you for reading this short metaphorical story. I hope more people begin to understand mental illness.
Firstly I apologise for starting this blog then being completely silent since. Unfortunately about three weeks ago I had a nervous breakdown, I felt anxious and nervous (all the time) therefore making me feel drained and tired (all the time). During this time I had panic attacks, wasn’t sleeping, sweating, crying and not eating.
I have needed time away from placement/university, my medication has been increased and I have had to consider my coping strategies. Alongside all this I have had people say things that need some reflection ‘you were fine last week’ ‘I don’t think you had a breakdown’ the worst one was ‘you just need to relax’. The response in my head was this…
Was I really fine last week? (No I hid it well) I did have a breakdown (chances are you don’t believe me as 1. You didn’t see me and 2. I seem ‘fine’ now. And relax?! I wish I could.
After this what I now refer to as a ‘wobble’ that I had two weeks ago, I needed to consider lots of things to help me. Firstly I made myself get out of bed at a reasonable time (which was difficult during my wobble). I would then walk my dog, carry on with chores and I would relax. Either in the bath, or just sitting down and taking time to process my thoughts. I have had kind words from people I rarely talk to and i’ve been able to see who is close to me, but have not given me much thought, which is a shame.
Although I am not completely recovered yet, I am getting their and I am figuring out what works for me. I hope I can reach out to at least one person who is struggling, I will help, sympathise and try to make you smile.
If I can get through this ‘wobble’ so can you!
#anxiety #support #stigma #relax #mentalhealth