Mental health has always been a hot topic on the internet and generally in life. But due to the recent coronavirus pandemic it has become even more talked about, and rightly so. People are suffering even more than before, and people are finding it really difficult to get the help they need. The usual facilities or help lines are closed and people have been left jobless, even homeless with mental health problems. Yes we are currently experiencing a global pandemic of COVID, but I think we are also on the brink of a mental health pandemic too.
As many of you know I suffer with anxiety and have done for a while now. It’s something I’m quite open to talk about. I’m not ashamed nor am I afraid of it anymore. Today I really felt like we should talk about mental health and everything that comes with it. I want this to be a safe space where we can talk about how we are doing or what extra support we need. So let’s start the discussion!
MENTAL HEALTH IS NOT BLACK AND WHITE
Mental health has never been easy to understand. It’s our brains, of course it’s going to be complicated and complex to understand. The anxiety I suffer isn’t going to be the same kind of anxiety that you experience. And thats what makes it so complicated. It’s not one single experience that we all go through.
I learn new things about Mental Health conditions on a regular basis, I learn through my own experiences and the experiences others share with me. No two days are the same. It’s like having an unpredictable friend. You aren’t sure what’s going to happen next or what they’ll say next. It really keeps you on your toes!
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IT DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE
Mental health illnesses don’t care who you are, what gender you are, what race or religion you are, what sexual orientation you are. It does not care about who you are as a person. Mental illness will be there with you no matter what. Thats the scary thing about mental health for me. It can happen so randomly and out of the blue. And it can happen to anyone.
Some days are harder than others. Some days I feel like laying in bed all day or not doing anything. And then some days I feel energised and positive and ready for life. There have been times where I have had public panic attacks and then had to go home from work. It can make you feel defeated and that your mental illness has won.
It’s a constant battle between you and the illness.
IT CAN BE POSITIVE
This might seem as a weird thing to say, but I have found that without my anxiety I wouldn’t be the person I am today. It’s actually encouraged and inspired me to become better. There are days where I show my anxiety who is boss and I take the reins. And just doing that makes me feel in control and positive. I’ll admit though, its not all sunshine and roses but I think we need those hard times to appreciate the good.
I know people who have mental illnesses and they say how it’s the best thing that could have happened to them. It’s allowed them to push through and gain confidence in their own abilities.
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How do you combat your mental health issues?
Have you found it harder on your mental health during the pandemic?
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. I feel like a mental health post was needed due to the current events worldwide. We need to remember to support and love one another as much as we can.
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I got very anxious during this pandemic because someone near and dear to me passed away. But later I was feeling okay (all though I still get my panic attacks). I’m not gonna start complaining about how I was feeling whatever I was feeling. I’m thankful for my friends and my parents because they made me feel better. I hope everyone has someone to be there for them.❤️
Anxiety in a pandemic is not the best and I can vouch for that. You will get through it and its okay to admit you’re struggling or having a hard time right now. We are going through something we have never experienced in our life time. Be kind to yourself. You are doing great 🤗
Thank you so much for your kind words. Your writing really did inspire me to keep blogging because I have to admit I was anxious just to start my blog. But now your one of my followers and I’m proud of myself for that. Thank you very much 💕
Aw this makes me so happy! Thanks so much💛
Mental health is such an important topic and you covered some amazing points! The brain is such a complex thing. It’s not as simple as a broken arm where you can put a cast on it and it heals after so long. I’m glad mental health is starting to be discussed more. ❤️
You’re so right, it really cant just be healed with a cast. It is rooted deeper than that, and in some ways thats what makes it so much more difficult to heal too.
I am glad too, its a really real thing that people face everyday!
Great post! Love reading your blogs!!
Due to the pandemic many of my plans got cancelled and I felt like nothing is gonna be right first this illness then not being able to go out… But then when I saw other people in pain more than mine I started to pray for their well ness and made me realise to be grateful for what I have…😄
We are to be grateful for what we have. It can really help shift perspectives. But its okay to feel down and have bad days too. We don’t always have to compare them to others!
Great post on a very pertinent topic!
Keep writing! Awaiting you next post…
Thanks so much!
Acknowledging our mental strengths and indeed those dastardly weaknesses which shed light on our volatility, is never straight forward. More often than not, it’s taking that initial step and arranging an appointment with the GP which is perhaps the hardest question to face. Noone likes to admit to having a fallibility and this is especially true for men. To answer being asked what’s wrong, and for me similarly speaking about what I might want some help with, are not in themselves difficult questions but answering them often can be.
I’ve come to own my depression and like some bespoke suite of armer, it occasionally requires some fine alterations. I’ve chosen an option, because the choice is mine to consciously make, to refrain from the proscription recipe isle because I wish to maintain control. I might feel that on occasion I’ve chosen the wrong path when things become less stable but then I’m aware too that this struggle with a little perseverance will see me right. Life is a mental battle continuously because of the role we have or are given within the society we belong or would like to become more active in. It’s how we are taught and nurture aside, it’s our own perception of the world around us which spurs us on or not as our mental capacity to absorb everything, without the ability to compartmentalise those anomalies which make us hesitant and more self critical when lacking the confidence to meet expectations, be they our own or those anticipated from others, which then agitate our insecurities.
I’m contented to be isolated and to answer the question about these additional constraints foisted upon us all because of this global crisis, I feel deeply disappointed for the curtailing of our freedoms but even more so by the seeming apathy of society, as this alarming catastrophe continues to meander on, to not fully understand the implications for us all, as we attempt to go about our business so disjointedly.
Anyway, that’s my rant for today and Thank you for allowing me to participate in your worthwhile discussion.
Wow, what a comment! Thanks so much for being so willing to share all of this with us. I know its not easy to share something so deep and personal with others!
Your welcome Olivia, you’ll excuse me for saying this, I trust, but have an old head on young shoulders and I dare say you are an inspiration to everyone. I know that I’ve certainly benefited from reading some of your posts. Thank you
Martin, you are so kind. I really do try to have an old head on my young shoulders. I surround myself with people who are older and wiser than me in order to learn and grow from them. Its benefitted me greatly in life. 😌 thank you so much for your comment
Great post Olivia 🙂 – there are some points I wanted to add to this!
1) Mental health is JUST as important as physical health. I feel in this pandemic there has been too much focus on physical health and saving lives when it comes to the governments strategy and mental health has nearly been slipped under the radar. I do fear the future mental health pandemic could be just as bad as this covid pandemic
2) It’s really important for everyone to realise that mental health is not black and white, as you said. Every 2 people are different and have different lives and so their experiences of mental health would be different. We should therefore have an open mind and hence not judge others as mental health is not a simple topic! Instead we should be open to learning more about mental health, as none of us can claim we know everything about the topic of mental health
3) It can be positive as you can also have good mental health, and if you feel you are being productive and are able to be the best version of yourself 🙂
Agreed with those points you made!
This is beautifully written Olivia✨🙌🏽
My anxiety/depression makes me so fearful of change that at every step I feel caged. It’s like being forever stuck between hope and despair. Nothing quite makes you feel happy.
Thank you for sharing —sometimes, you just a need reminder that you are alone! xx
You are for sure not alone. Suffering with anxiety and depression is really hard, because its exactly as you said. You’re stuck between the two. We are all in this together 🤍
To me it’s been weird to realize that the pandemic hasn’t affected my mental health in a bad way. It instead has calmed me in the way that rain calms me down. It makes me feel like everything is on this sort of pause and that I should allow myself to feel less anxious about everything that I have or should be doing. I’m a very accelerated person and I do need outside help to slow down sometimes, ironically a world spread virus is kinda doing that job at the moment.
I have heard some people say this. I guess that shows how different all of our mental health problems are. Some have thrived during this time whereas some have crumbled. I’d say I’m in-between! So happy to hear it has helped you though. Thats for sure a plus!
Well actually I wouldn’t consider it to have me thriving but that it just hasn’t affected me noticeably on a negative way. But for sure its just an example about how everyone’s mental health gets hit differently. And glad to read that you’re in-between, at least not fully bad 😅
I appreciate you pointing out how mental illness can manifest in different ways. It’s true it can be a different experience on different days. I’ve been struggling lately not just from the pandemic but also the loss of my job. Some days are definitely better than others. Having a safe space to talk about these things is always helpful and sometimes even comforting, just knowing that others have the same struggles.
Take care xo
I suppose in a way, Covid-19 has helped some of us by making mental health talk more common. Regardless, I wish Covid would go away like, NOW.
A great read, thank you. I would agree that at the start there was too much emphasis on physical health. I think here in the uk they are now realising that. Unfortunately the mental health services were already struggling before the pandemic; Not enough funding, huge waiting lists and for some by the time they were seen they were at crisis point or their mental health had really deteriorated from the point of referral or had to reach that point before anyone would see them. The pandemic has added even more strain as even the most introverted of personalities still require some form human interaction. The pandemic is like ongoing trauma that no one can give an end date or idea of when or how it will end and lives are threatened, we don’t feel safe or in control. If you look up Carolyn Spring coronavirus trauma if helps explain that. I watched a webinar of hers during our first lockdown and it really helped.
2018 was tough year for me. I was anxious the majority of the time and prone to panic attacks. I can say that counselling, yoga, meditation and the support of my partner really helped me. I felt like the experience and help equipped me for surviving 2020 without any major challenges.
Pinpointing Mental Health is so difficult, Covid has taught me that I was struggling before and I didn’t realise it. I thought life was sopposed to be full of anxiety, and errands, and running around to please everyone, and putting yourself on the back bench….. Covid slowed my life down, at first I found it hard to adjust, but now I realise that life continues with out all the running around. That people only want you when they need you- the rest of the time they don’t Evan think about you. And you have to put yourself first because really and truly nobody else will ❤️
I think because I have been going through so much it the last few years, covid has hindered things. But with much more time to think without too many distractions, I was able to understand certain issues more. Understand myself more, as I liked to keep busy so not to dwell on things and put of doing things also. It has been a adjustment and there is much more for myself to do. As I can get overwhelmed due to high anxiety easily. I have to take things in a slow pace. And what has been good for me is to write down my achievements and when good things happen to me, as I easily forget. And look back whenever to remember the good things and achievements I have done. So I can be proud of myself. And have a sense of hope, than to feel hopeless and have nothing to so for my life. This year I will be shouting out loud and proud the small and big achievements I do in 2021 and onwards. With all that is going on I am very surprised on my mindset, but it is keeping me going. And just to be more open with myself in general, and not to be in denial and admit when something is wrong or being too strong.
I feel I have kept so much in for a very long time due to fear, and just overthinking in my mind so much. All of what is in my head has to come out and make space for the good things. And realising I do have a lot to say. Which again sometimes I am surprised myself. Great post
Appreciate you going there and being direct,much respect and the best to you
So true and thoughtful! Even I have written over this topic a while ago! Keep going girl
What an amazing post Olivia! I completely agree with all of your points here!
Mental Health is such a crucial topic for us all to talk about, it affects each and every one of us in it’s way. I’ve gone through a lot of Mental Health issues in my life, which at one point I was ashamed of, but quickly learned to embrace and appreciate them 🙂
Mental Health is not just a negative thing though, as you said, it encompasses who we are as people, bring in hoe we work, how we feel, what we like and dislike and more!
I’ll be sure to share your blog on my page, for my readers to see, I hope you have a fantastic day!