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On World Mental Health day, I thought it was important to remind people of one thing. Mental health is not a rude term. It should not have shame or stigma attached to it. If you suffer from any kind of mental health issue, you should not feel you have to hide it.
Over the last few years, I have made no secrets of my issues and struggles with mental health, issues that have plagued me since I was 9 or 10 trying to manage school whilst being seriously dyslexic, getting no support from the school! This, I am sure, is what triggered the start of my problems with depression and anxiety. My Mum also suffered from similar issues, and at least one of my children has similar.
I was not always able to speak about these things. Anything that meant you were different had to be suppressed when I was a kid and the habit followed me into adulthood. It was not until my wife was unable to watch me trying to be “normal” whilst simultaneously self-destructing that I sought help. It was at that point that I realised that there was nothing wrong with admitting I had these issues.
If you think there is a problem, or if others tell you there may be a problem, listen and find help. These days there is a wealth of advice and help available to you, but you have to go and find it – it won’t come to you I’m afraid.
If people around you pressure you to keep quiet about your issues – fuck ’em. Look after yourself!
There is Help
If you think you need help, or if you know someone who you think does, talk about it. There is help out there.
In the UK start here: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/your-mental-health/getting-help
In the US try here: https://www.mentalhealthamerica.net/finding-help.
Please tell me other country starting points in the comments and I will add them.
You are not alone.
Also published on Medium.