The following blog posts are written by people with personal experience of anxiety. By talking openly, our bloggers hope to increase understanding around mental health, break stereotypes and take the taboo out of something that – like physical health – affects us all.


I quit my job because of mental health stigma

Next time you hear someone say how far we’ve come in the fight against mental health, take a moment to consider that statement. 1 in 4 people suffer from mental illness in the UK – around 15 million people. That’s potentially 1 in 4 people you know - one of your close friends, a family member, or a colleague sitting at the desk next to you.

I experienced mental health stigma at university

My mother used to say I was pretty much always this way. She would say that she could never leave my brother for even a second; else he would bash his head or throw a fit. She said I would just sit still. She could have left me for hours, she said; of course, she didn’t. I would play with one toy, and then wait, consumed by anxiety, until she gave her permission that I could play with another. This confused her. She had never once told me that I needed her permission to play. 

Speak up and speak out about mental health

Never one to be the quiet or timid type, it would be difficult to find someone who thinks I’m anything other than boisterous and over-confident. Yet behind this male bravado there’s a sensitivity and vulnerability that I have always tried to mask.

I felt like I couldn’t speak to anyone about my mental health

When I figured out something was wrong it was too late. It consumed me. I was so close to going through with it until someone rang and snapped me out of the way I was feeling. At the time I thought I had no one, no family or friends. I felt like I couldn’t speak to anyone about my mental health. 
 
I had already lost a close friend to suicide. I’d heard about the high suicide rates amongst men which made me think “why is there no help for men to talk about their mental health” - because at the time I didn’t know how or where to get help from. 
 

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