Thursday, 11 May 2017

Mental Health Awareness Week: The Importance Of Talking.

This week is Mental Health Awareness Week and I wanted to take the time today to share with you why it's so important to say when we're not okay.

Not everyone has mental illness but everyone has mental health so talking about it should be the norm. Sadly, it just isn't.
When we have a physical ailment we are more than happy to be open about it and seek advice from not only medical professionals but also from out family and friends. We're happy to ask if they've experienced it or if they know tips on how to cope/deal with it, But when it comes to mental health, we cower.

This has to change.

I'm a 21 year old cat loving blogger who loves collecting shoes and makeup, laughing at stupid jokes and eating.
But I am also a statistic.

I am 1 in 4.

I have been diagnosed with bipolar and avoidant personality disorder. I have also suffered with severe agoraphobia in the past (severe enough that I didn't leave my house for 3 years) and that still affects me regularly.
 I had no idea what was happening to me and I just thought I was going crazy and that professionals would laugh me out the building. But they didn't. Instead they helped me. Granted the process wasn't easy and is still ongoing but I'm getting there. 

Initially I was so ashamed of my diagnosis. I feared it.
I feared the stigma. I feared the judgement.

Mental illness wasn't something my family talked about. Or my friends. I thought I was the only one that was experiencing this and had no one to relate to. I felt so alone.

But I plucked up the courage and started speaking about my feelings, thoughts and emotions. I was tentative at first and would filter what I told people but now I pour my soul out for all to hear. 
I tried to be as open as I could.

I immediately noticed that other people started to change.

The words 'anxiety' and 'depression' started to become part of the conversation. 
People started genuinely asking about mental health and when they asked how you are, they also say "and how's everything with you mentally?" like it's the most normal thing in the world and you know why? Because it is.
Family members started to open up about their struggles and share their thoughts and emotions and I realised that though it wasn't talked about, mental illness was all around me. 
Whether that was in the form of addiction, anxiety or depression it was there.

Mental illness doesn't discriminate. No one is immune.
It strikes wherever and whenever it wants and we can't stop it.
But we can speak about it. We can empower ourselves and others through our struggles and in turn, make others feel a little less alone and a lot more connected.

I am no longer ashamed of my diagnosis.
My diagnosis didn't just change my life. It also changed that of those around me.

It took one diagnosis and conversation to open up a whole family of people.
A whole family of people that all have mental health.
No one should suffer in silence when there is nothing to be ashamed of.

Talking about mental health/illness changed my life and has taught me so much about the people I love. I now feel wholly accepted and comfortable and have a network of people that are there for me.

Today, start a conversation. Share your experience. Express your thoughts and feelings because they matter and so do you.

If you're struggling or want to learn more then here are some websites that may be of use:



  1. You're courageous sharing this. You seem so strong and are inspirational. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. You just made my day. Thank you for your kind words, they mean so much. I just hope other people share their stories :)

  2. This is such an important post and I admire you so much for writing this. I also felt so alone post finishing cancer treatment and I now suffer with anxiety and depression. I hate the stigma attached to mental health and I hope this changes with more people taking about it.

    Samantha |

    1. Thank you so much. I've read your posts and think you are a wonderful human! I admire YOU for your writing and your honesty.

      I would love to see the day when everyone talks about their mental health. It's so important.

  3. I am so happy that you no longer feel ashamed of your illness because you shouldn't be. As you say, mental illness is becoming more and more heard of and is recognised much better. Things are moving in the right direction for all of us and we are getting more and more help with how help ourselves. I struggle with anxiety and feel that, in the last 8 years that I have knowingly struggled, I have been able to talk about it more and more. I am so glad that you have written this because it is once again encouraging people to educate themselves if they are unfamiliar with mental illnesses and what they are. Lovely, inspiring post x
    Claire |

    1. Anxiety is a constant struggle so I feel you on that one.
      This comment has warmed my heart. Thank you so much! x

  4. This is such a lovely post, and it is so nice you can talk about this! Learning and understanding about mental health is so important, and there is not enough awareness out there at all! Thank you for sharing your story! x

    1. It is SO important. I think we're moving forward but there's still a long way to go.
      Thank you for reading my story :) x

  5. Fab post lovely! I suffer with anxiety/depression and I tend to go through spells of it being bearable to quite bad and I feel really self conscious/not good enough etc so I totally understand what you mean about worrying about being judged. But I definitely think my mental health isn't as bad as it was this time last year so that's something :) x

    1. Sorry to hear that.
      I think we're constantly seeing improvements but there is always further to go :)

  6. You are and continue to be an inspiration for me to be more open. You were my best friend when you were born and I have so many happy memories of watching you grow and I am so proud of you, for who you are, how you cope and support others even when you struggle. xxx

    1. I just cried a little bit reading your comment. Thank you for always being supportive and available when I need advice/a good rant.
      I love you so much!!