We all have it
Everyone has mental health. For most people its is good mental health. However for far too many it is definitely bad, aka mental illness. Its not something that can be seen or measured in any way. It’s not affected by possessions or your seemingly perfect relationship, job, life. It’s not a state of mind that can be snapped out of.
So what is it?
Well, that is the million dollar question. It’s really hard, almost impossible to explain unless you suffer yourself. Its unique to the individual. Two people can go through the same life experiences but feel completely different. Like most things in life it is thought that any mental health problems in life are caused by events that have happened to you in childhood. Usually by the age of seven or eight.
I know of people that have gone through traumatic events as children and don’t suffer with mental illness at all. I also know of people that have experienced no major traumatic events but, as adults suffer badly. It doesn’t have to be one massive event, i.e the loss of a parent or sibling, divorce of parents, abuse etc, it can just be a series of small things that build up. Through therapy I have discovered for me it is a fear of being abandoned, of not fitting in, not belonging. I have always been a bit of a loner, an outsider.
Mood swings, anxiety and depression
As well as my underlying mental illness, I also suffer from mood swings (caused by my borderline personality disorder), anxiety and depression. I can go from being the happiest person in the room to the sadest in minutes, maybe even seconds. My anxiety isn’t like when you have to do something out of your comfort zone, it’s an overwhelming uncontrollable fear that comes on for no apparent reason. It leaves me crippled, unable to function. Finally there is my depression. I can appear happy on the outside but be so low on the inside. It’s horrible. You can never truly tell how a person is feeling. I also have the joys of two autoimmune illnesses. More about those another day.
I am in control of my life and my emotions right now. I am in a really good place. I am fully aware that my illness can come back at any point, however I am now armed with the tools I need to cope far better. I will never overdose again (something I have never said before).
If you suffer with mental illness, or know someone that does, please get help. Speak to your doctor, your friends, find a good therapist (it’s not cheap), find out what works for you as an individual. For me talking is the single most helpful thing. Next comes music, exercise and diet.
Don’t suffer alone