Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Mental Health Chit Chat

We're going to be delving deep into the topic of mental health today. So, grab a cuppa (or a hot chocolate if you're like me) and get comfortable, as this could be a lengthy, rambly one. If you are quite a sensitive person, then you can still read this post, as I won't be getting too deep (I say that now), but if at any point, you feel in some way saddened, or as if you don't want to read on, then please do stop, and exit the page.

Before we get down to the deeper, heartfelt stuff, I just want to say that I understand that the subject of mental health is a tough one to talk about. I completely empathise with the fact that it can get very emotional, and it can be a difficult one to approach, and open up about. But, as always, I'm all about honesty, and being open with everything, and so that's what you're going to get through this post. I'm not going to sugar coat things, but at the same time, I'm not going to be offensive, or rude in any way at all.

I have spoken about mental health on my blog before in a few different posts. I actually did a weekly series every Monday at one point, addressing different mental illnesses, in the hope that it would help some of you out. I think most of you know by now that it's a topic that I feel extremely strongly about, and I speak out about it as much as I can.

Mental health is such a serious issue for so many different reasons, and it affects more people than we may be aware of. It's actually a lot more common than most people realise. There's an incredibly high chance that either you, or someone that is close to you will suffer from a mental illness within their lifetime. That's a scary thought, right?
If you think about it, there is still a lot of stigma attached to mental health issues, and many people still fail to understand how deadly, and debilitating they can actually be. When you suffer from something that is going on inside your mind, it can completely turn your world upside down, and it can change you as a person. You may become to isolate yourself from those who really care about you, and you may be too afraid to come out of your room to interact with your loved ones. You may feel in fear of everything, you may convince yourself that everyone is against you, or that you're better off dead. Your thoughts may begin to take over your entire being, and you may lose total interest in the world around you. I know this, because I have been there. I have experienced these feelings.

Whether you are suffering from depression, anxiety, an eating disorder, schizophrenia, bipolar, ADHD, loneliness, suicidal thoughts, self-harm, paranoia, or any other mental illness, you deserve help. You don't deserve to be feeling this way, and you don't deserve to be experiencing such a horrific ordeal on a daily basis. I understand that you are terrified, and you may be reluctant to open up to anyone, and although that is going to be the hardest step that you will have to take along this journey, it's the starting point, and it's so, so important that you do open up. I don't have many people that I can trust in my personal life, and so I completely understand if you feel that you don't either, but there is always someone, even the person who you may least expect to understand. If you are a younger child, or an adolescent, then you could try talking to ChildLine, or an online counselling service. You would be surprised at how relieved you feel after you have opened up to someone. I promise you, they keep everything 100% confidential, unless your life is in extreme danger, and even in those circumstances, they will always talk to you before contacting anyone else. That's the route I would go down if you have nobody in your personal life that you can talk to. I understand that it's a very daunting process, and I was too scared to tell anyone at school that I was being bullied, or that I was going through what I went through, but once I opened up to a few people, and I told them what was honestly going on, I felt a lot more hopeful, as I knew I wasn't alone. The thing is, when you're going through such a horrible experience, you can feel so alone, and it can seem like nobody in the world cares about what you're going through. But, that isn't true.

To every single one of you that is going through some kind of pain, I want to be able to shield you from that, and protect you in any way that I can. Even if you just visit my blog occasionally, you are incredibly important to me, and I want to be able to help you. My blog is a place where you can feel safe, hopeful, comforted and positive. There is no room for any negativity, or nastiness here, and I can assure you of that. I have struggled with mental health issues myself, and during those 2 desperately low years, I truly believed that I would never come out of the other side. But, I did. And you can too.
I know that if you're suffering in silence, you don't want to hear all the typical, cliché phrases from me, like "it will get better", "you just need to cheer up" "it will all be okay", because, let's be honest here, that doesn't really help anyone. You can't just wake up one morning, and suddenly find yourself cured from depression, and suicidal thoughts.
It's okay that you don't want to wake up in the morning. It's okay that you can only see constant darkness. It's okay not to be okay. Your feelings are completely valid, and they matter, I promise. They matter to me, and they matter to many other people too.
I understand that you don't want to feel like this anymore, and I understand that you want this pain to end. And it will. You will not feel this way forever. It may seem like I'm asking a lot of you to seek help, and to open up to someone, but I'm encouraging you to get better. I want you to get better, because I genuinely care about you. You are a human, just like the rest of us who live in this crazy world, and you deserve to feel happiness, and love. You deserve to want to wake up every morning to ensure that you have a brighter future. Nobody deserves to be experiencing such emotional trauma. I know that there isn't an immense amount of things that I can do, but I will always try my best for you all.

In the picture above, I'm giving the camera a very cheesy smile. I intentionally included this image at the top of this particular post, because it proves that although everything may be all 'fine and dandy' on the surface, there are deeper issues that people suffer from. The discrimination, and attached stigma really does need to go, and as I have mentioned 1 million times before, I will not stop speaking openly about mental health until the stigma has been completely removed. Every single sufferer deserves help, and support to break out of that terribly tough stage, and with the right guidance, and the right mind set, it is completely possible. It will take time, and it won't be easy, but nothing comes easy, and it will be worth it in the end when you're a happier person.

Think of it this way. If you had a younger sibling, or any younger family member, would you allow them to battle with their mental health issues in silence? Would you refuse them the help that they so desperately need? Think of yourself as if you were in that position. You have to look after yourself, and you have to make the decision that you want to better yourself. As I have said, I do understand that it isn't easy, believe me, but anything is possible, and together, as the simply jadey community, we can get through anything.

If you are experiencing any of these mental health issues, then please do speak up. Even if you just email me, we can have a chat, no matter what your problem is, and I will try my best to give you some courage, and some hope. If you are also interested in reading my story, then you can do so here. I really do hope from the bottom of my heart that at least one of you chooses to contact me, instead of choosing to harm yourself, or end your life. I do care, I promise you, and I really do want to help, as I believe that nobody deserves to feel this way. Together, we can fight against the stigma, and discrimination.
Those who judge are so selfless, and they probably will never get anywhere with their lives. We will be the survivors, who can say that we have stood strong, and defeated the demons.

Let me round off this post with an extract from a mental health post I did a few months back;

'Life genuinely is too short and precious to be constantly harming yourself and constantly wanting to die. You are here for a reason. Your heart beats every single day and it continuously pumps oxygen through your body in order for you to survive. We still have our entire lives ahead of us. We could be professors, celebrities, role models, charity fundraisers, life-changers; we can be anything that we want to be. We all struggle and we all go through terrible phases in our life. But we have to have the strength to carry on and remain positive. Surround yourself with people who make you happy and those who are always willing to help you. So what if it's a stranger? At least you will be helping yourself and making someone else feel pleased at the same time. Do you honestly want to spend the rest of your life waking up, simply wishing for death to come and take you away? You would be distraught and completely crushed if you knew someone was harming themselves intentionally or contemplating suicide. You would most likely try and comfort them or find them support in some way. So why can't you allow yourself to receive that? Why are you so different to everyone else? We all make mistakes. We are all human. You are no less important than any other human being. We are all equal. We are all the same. We all breathe, we all live our everyday life, we all have a family or friends. We are all human. I know that you may think there is no escape right now, but I promise you, I absolutely swear to you, that things can get better.'

I love you all so very much, and I honestly hope that you choose to get in touch with me.

Email me at - I will always reply to every single one of you.

Lots of love,

Jade x


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