Hi Everyone, i hope you enjoyed my first blog, please leave any comments and i will try to answer all that i can.
I would like to talk about peoples reactions to mental health. I will focus on my experiences and you can let us all know about yours,
When i had my relapse last year, i had varied reactions from family and friends. Some people avoided me and didn’t know how to react to my situation. My close friends stayed by me and supported me, listening and trying to help.
My family were unsure of what to do and thought i was just playing up. But my favourite reaction was from my partner. she looked at me one day and asked if i was listening to voices, i think she knows me so well she could just tell, i said yes, even though i was a bit worried about her reaction. she then said ‘ are they telling you to make me a cup of tea” to which i laughed and promptly came out of this dark place. now some people may find this a bit strange, but for us, we use humour to dampen dark times, and it works.
Learning to live with mental health and getting as much information as i can about my condition, has aided me in explaining things to people if they ask me, but i find a lot of people are scared to ask which is why they avoid me. this is all my own thoughts and people may think differently to how i have reacted to their reaction, but we all have our own thoughts and feelings and no one is right or wrong.
One of my biggest fears was having a full blown panic attack in public. what would people think? would they help me? what would i do if they all stood and laughed at me? what if i passed out and no one helped me? the fear of being in big crowds was compounded after the relapse. now i know people say, it doesn’t matter what others think of you or how they see you, it only matters what you think, but i think most of you will agree, that as much as we try to see life this way, we never do.
One of the reactions my partner was angry about, was from a NHS professional. he was telling me that this is my life and
although medication can help, it would not change the fact that i had to get used to being like this. he then held his hands up in defence and said ‘dont get angry with me” now i didn’t react at all as i didn’t realise how significant this was, but my partner looked at him and said ‘excuse me, there is no reason to be scared of John, he would not hurt you, or anyone for that matter, he would hurt himself more than anyone else’ she can be a bit feisty, but im glad shes in my corner.
the last few months i can see a change in family members, its like they seem to be acknowledging my mental health, just by
checking in with me now and then, and that’s quite nice knowing they support me, a difference from not knowing how to handle it in the early days.
I think the bad press on mental health has not helped people who live with a mental health condition, and if you say mental
health, people think, mad man/woman, run for the hills, where this is not the case at all. There are so many different
types of mental health, and just educating yourself can help dismiss some of this myths about mental health and hopefully, we can stamp out the stigma that comes with this title.
obviously people have different thoughts and ideas about mental health, and no one will react the way you think they will, but i would like to say, take the time to find out what mental health a loved one has, and educate yourself the best you can, and this will give you the tools to cope better when dealing with bad days that your loved one has.
I would like to hear your thoughts and experiences of peoples reactions to mental health, so please leave a comment.
Have a great week and be happy