Talking About Mental Health is Important

By Rhianna Levi

Rhianna LeviAs I write this post, I have Placebo playing in the background on my laptop. Music, reading and writing has become a large comfort to me — a way to escape my thoughts.

I have suffered from anxiety disorders, as well as depression for as long as I can remember in the near 18 years I have been on this earth — although, it has only become uncontainable in the past 2 years.

I went out of my comfort zone at the end of July. I spoke to my GP about what is going on in my mind and I am now being referred to a counseling service, so I can be assessed for the help I need through talk therapy and possibly medication.

Especially in the past 2 years, I have increasingly believed that I am going crazy. Furthermore, I had become isolated mentally because of the issues I face on a daily basis. That is what mental health illnesses do…they can make you feel like the definition of yourself is your mental health. I may be surrounded by so many people who love and want the best for me, but when you are mentally isolated, you are unable to see past the brick wall that is between yourself and the path that is managing your mental health, positively.

A person’s mental health issues may never fully disappear and could arise repeatedly through life. However, showing love to yourself and taking those steps to allow others to help you will enable you to learn how to manage your mental health in a non-dangerous way. That first step is realizing that your mental health issues do not define you.

Here are some statistics:

  • Rates of anxiety and depression among adolescents have increased by 70 per cent in the past 25 years.
  • The amount of young people who have come into AE with a psychiatric condition has doubled since 2009.
  • Excluding those who are in hospital or are in prison, three to five people in every 100 suffer from a personality disorder.
  • One to three people in every 100 suffer from bipolar disorder and another one to three people in every 100 suffer from schizophrenia.
  • Mental health issues in older people have increased significantly over the past few years.

I was very stubborn about asking for help for a long period of time, mainly because I was scared. Some people manage their mental health well through self-help, which can be a great direction in recovery. Other people need more help and support in managing their mental health, and that is also OK. Now, I am aware that the mental health sector is not at its best to say the least, but by continually pushing for help, it will pay off. We all deserve the best care possible and sometimes you need to make a fuss to make a difference.

Life can be extremely complicated and I shall never say that as soon as you get help, you will be always okay. What I can say is that finding ways to love yourself and find help will make things a bit easier and manageable.

Personally, my mental health issues have caused me to feel highly empathetic towards others, and makes me want to help those around the world even more than I did before I started struggling.

As cliché as it sounds, you are not alone. There are so many support networks and people out there who will be there for you. I am working towards helping to fight the stigma of mental health through campaigns, groups and charities, because all of you and your mental health matter. Talking about mental health is important and I hope this post was interesting to read.