I have anxiety and depression. I also suffer from panic attacks. It makes life so hard on a daily basis, everything I seem to worry and panic about, literally everything. Going out and socialising, I can't do much because of my anxiety. It sucks having both of them because most of the times they just come together and make your day even worse. I used to be very much high functioning, but for some reason that I've not found out yet, I just all of a sudden dropped, and the high functioning person I used to be had just disappeared.
The stigma and silence of mental health had a huge impact on me. It was such a big impact, that I didn't even tell anyone or go to my GP until late last year, it took me four years. I just always thought, because of the stigma, that it wasn't a serious problem, and I wouldn't get took seriously by my GP. I didn't have someone to talk to about my mental health issues until last year when I got in contact with a good friend, that's when I found out, that I couldn't really go on without telling a professional.
It was hard without having someone who understood mental health, but it was much easier when I spoke about it, to my friend who did understand what I was going through. She was the one who told me to seek help, which I did. Our friendship was really strong, she helped me so much, she always used to ask "how are you?" "are you doing okay today?" "do you need someone to go with you?" and it meant a lot, especially her asking me if I want her to come with me to anywhere I want to go, really helps me, especially with my social anxiety.
Talking to someone or just being there for someone is really important. Not many people realise or know how important and how much it helps until they've experienced someone talking to them when nobody has before. I understand how hard it is to suffer in silence, so I try my best to be in all of my friends' corners, and when they need to talk to someone that I am there, talking to them.
Many people don't understand mental health, and therefore, their attitude towards it can be awful. The stigma that is attached to mental illness is so strong; it makes it so much harder to actually be able to speak out. However, I feel like people's attitudes are changing, solely because mental illness is getting the publicity it deserves, many people are going on TVshows like This Morning, and sharing their stories about their struggles, which helps to stop the stigma and the awful attitude around mental illness.