I blogged a couple of times before but didn’t really get into it. I’m going to give it another try, and thought that today, being World Mental Health Day, would be a good time to start.
I don’t really get blogging, it’s a bit like writing a diary but everyone can see. I’m not sure whether that is just because I am quite a private person, or whether I just don’t think other people care about my life! Most humans are ultimately pretty selfish and engrossed in their own lives so it seems strange that even in our modern world people are still fundamentally nosey and want to know what everyone else is doing.
So to me, the idea of blogging seems rather strange, but for some reason I am determined to give it a go. I’m not really sure why this is (there are many things in my life that I’m not sure of) whether it is because it seems that some other people who also suffer with mental health problems have helped themselves by blogging or because I just fancy a bit of writing, who knows.
So today is World Mental Health Day. In our western culture it is very much stigmatized and the mental health charities present in our society are doing all they can to reduce that. But what is it that has made it be thought of as such a negative thing? If someone tells you that they have diabetes, that doesn’t put you off being friends with them, but if someone said that they had depression or schizophrenia it might. This seems so strange, considering that 1 in 4 of the population of our country are suffering from a mental health problem. That statistic shows that virtually everyone will know someone affected by this, although they may be suffering in silence. So many people don’t feel brave enough to even tell their partner or close family, let alone visit a doctor for a diagnosis or have it openly known in their community that they have a problem. This, quite frankly, is absurd. Why is it okay to break your leg and tell everyone about it, but not okay to have anxiety? What makes obsessive compulsive disorder so different from asthma?
It seems many people (including those suffering!) are scared of mental health problems, but this is often ignorance. There is that stupid saying ‘ignorance is bliss’. Only in reference to your bank balance. It isn’t bliss in terms of mental health. It is only making the situation worse for those of us who are suffering. People need to face mental health problems just as they do physical ones. We all talk about cancer, why not about depression? They both impact one’s whole life and can ultimately kill. It’s time our society sorted itself out and that can only come from those in it. We have to start the conversations, we have to get talking. Make mental health an everyday subject. Make those suffering with a mental illness feel accepted and welcome, just as those with physical illnesses do. Eventually we can make change, we can remove the stigma. But the change has to come from within.