World Mental Health Day

10 Oct

 

I noticed today that it is World Mental Health Day.

Mental Health.

It is important. Just as important as physical health. When our mental health is compromised it affects how we function physically and emotionally.

I suffered with PND (Post Natal Depression) after both my children. It has irreversibly tainted what should have been those magical early years.

It is a parasite that sucks at your soul until you are hollow.

It makes you feel like you are trying to swim though rapids. Keeping your head above water is your daily and exhausting battle. Some days are easier but some days leave you gasping for breath.

It makes you suspicious even of the kindest gesture. It is the whisper in your ear telling you that you have been judged and found wanting. Every minute of everyday.

It makes you secretive and paranoid that people will see that you are not coping. Because, that little whispering voice is telling you that if you admit it, they will know that you are weak. WEAK!

It made me, in my darkest moments not want to exist

I did get help. The first step for me was the hardest. Admitting to myself and those dearest that I was not ok. People didn’t judge at all, and the enormous weight that I had been carrying felt lighter. Being able to just tell someone that today is a bad day helped. I also had talking therapies, both cognitive and counselling. It’s like physio for an injured brain/mind/soul. Excercising it, healing it and getting it to begin to work correctly again. It is a slow process.

I think that most people will suffer from some kind of mental illness to a greater or lesser degree at some point in their lives. If we have a sniffle, a cold, flu or pneumonia there are things we can do to alleviate the symptoms and treat the condition. And no one is ashamed to admit they had flu.

Let’s be more honest with ourselves and with each other. Mental illness should not be taboo.

Yes PND did irreversibly taint the early years, it made me terrified of having more babies and I cannot change that. But I won’t let it affect our future.

I cannot guarantee that my mind won’t get ill again. I don’t think anyone can honestly say they will never ever get sick in their mind or body. If they believe that then maybe they should see a doctor.

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6 Responses to “World Mental Health Day”

  1. Hannah Noir October 10, 2013 at 12:16 pm #

    An honest and open account, thanks for bravery and sharing 🙂 Over in the Department of Health building we’ve got a whole festival going on for Mental Health Day! I’m trying to work and some band with harmonicas are blaring out in the atrium!

    • hannahblythin October 10, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

      Are they trying to send you stark raving mad 😉

  2. vickymyerscreations October 11, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

    It’s not an easy subject, when I had children I too found it a very difficult time, and like you will not be having anymore. I did not seek help as I told myself it was not that bad, but in hindsight I should have done. I often wonder will it go away completely? But rather than wishing the odd sign away, or worrying that it is a slippery slope I should be making the effort to look after myself, count my blessings, eat healthily, and exercise regularly:) Thank you for sharing:)

    • hannahblythin October 14, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      I don’t think it ever goes away completely. Sometimes mine can feel like an angry little goblin that I have to keep at arms length. As long as I keep myself busy I can keep him at bay. You are right about concentrating on looking after yourself. It is so important. I am very lucky to have such a supportive and loving family and such wonderful children.

  3. Kate @craftsonsea October 13, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    It shouldn’t be ‘brave’ of you to share this, but it still is. PND is such a common thing and yet its something so many people avoid admitting too because of the stigma around mental health issues. I’m glad you were able to deal with it properly x

    • hannahblythin October 14, 2013 at 12:54 pm #

      Thanks Kate.

      There really shouldn’t be a stigma around it. When you get talking to people you realise just how common it is. I believe mental health issues should be taken just as seriously by GP’s as any other type of illness. No one should feel ashamed if they have been unwell. x

      Many Congrats by the way xx

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