Friends, family and mental health: blogs and stories

These blogs are written by people with personal experience of mental health problems and about their experiences of friends, family and mental health. This could be a mother writing about how she supported her daughter or someone writing about how their friends treated them differently after learning of their mental illness

Our Stigma Shout survey showed that almost 9 out of 10 people with mental health problems (87%) reported the negative impact of stigma and discrimination on their lives. The research also showed that the way family, friends, neighbours and colleagues behave can have a big impact on the lives of people with mental health problems.

Simply talking to someone about their mental health problem can help strengthen relationships, help recovery and challenge the stigmatising stereotypes that surround mental illness.

By writing about their personal experiences of mental health, these bloggers aim to break down stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that affects people across the country. Pledge to share your experience of mental health today >>


Dissociative identity disorder is still so poorly understood

So, seven years ago I was diagnosed with dissociative identity disorder (DID). No, I hadn’t heard of it either. I was 16 at the time – I was in an adolescent psychiatric ward, a secure intensive care ward, 230 miles from home. It was terrifying. Getting a diagnosis was a positive, a weight off my mind, it all made so much sense. I was given some literature to read and it was practically my life story. Then the journey really began.

Support from my friends makes life with bipolar easier

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been the loud, overdramatic one. But it wasn’t seen as something wrong with me, that’s just how I was, even when I was told off for dancing and singing in the middle of a lesson at school one day and spending all day in bed crying the next. It got more extreme as I got older. I never knew what to expect when I woke up on a morning. Who would I be today?

You can be a man and still be open about your mental health

Suicide in men is one of the greatest problems of our time and yet one of the least talked about topics. What many don’t realise is that suicide is the leading cause of death in men under 50 despite the fact twice as many women get diagnosed with depression. Just have a little think about those two facts for a few seconds. It’s not cancer, or road accidents, or some other topic the media loves to run with like global warming that is killing men, it’s suicide.

Stigma as a young person stopped me from getting help

Everyone says that your school days shape your life. But I feel that mine did in a profound way. And I’m still affected by it every day. I was sixteen when I first started struggling significantly with mental ill health. At the time I had no idea what it was – or even if I was ill – and that terrified me; the idea that I could be like that forever was my worst nightmare.

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