So I’m 21 studying Geography and living between Cardiff and Gloucestershire. I have a number of great friends and love spending time with them and going out but also enjoy peaceful times on my own. I love my course and I really enjoy being active.
Sounds like a dating profile, I know. But that is the point of this blog – there is so much underneath that people do not know just because it is not visible.
What you don’t know: for the last 10 months I have been struggling every day with depression and anxiety, something I have only quite recently begun to accept and make steps to recover from. Because it is something that you cannot physically see, it is often not taken as a serious issue. Most days are a struggle to motivate myself to do anything and have a positive outlook and can be both physically and emotionally draining. Some days, everything can seem too much and it is very hard to do anything or socialise with people. It can be hard to convey this struggle to anyone who has not experienced problems with mental health.
But the symptoms are not the main discussion point for this blog. It's to show that anyone can experience mental health problems, that it is not something people should be ashamed or embarrassed about and talking about it is so much more beneficial than hiding it. 1 in 4 people suffer from mental health problems and every 1 in 10 suffer from mixed anxiety and depression (Mind, 2009) showing just how common it is and yet no one talks about it. The stigma attached to mental health is so negative and this should not be the case.
Most people are understanding of your struggles even if they do not understand the symptoms. Of course there are people out there that will say nothing is wrong with you but the people that matter the most will always be there to support you. Credit to my housemates who have just been there through my absolute toughest times even with limited experience of helping people with depression. Without them I would be in an extremely different position right now. It’s important to be open about mental health so people know how to help you as support is sometimes the most beneficial thing. Since I have opened up about my depression and anxiety, everyday life feels a lot more manageable as people close to me are aware of it and are understanding that some days it may take me a little longer to motivate myself to go somewhere or that things can become too much.
What I want most is to say mental health problems such as depression and anxiety should not just be ignored but should be openly discussed without stigma, awkwardness and embarrassment attached to it – even those who appear the happiest sometimes are struggling too. I hope this encourages people to talk and open up about their mental health as a benefit to themselves and to others around them.