Mental health problems affect 1 in 4 people every year and no one should feel ashamed. By sharing our experiences, together we can end the stigma.

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1 in 4 people have a mental illness - we're all in it together

Having anxiety is one thing, but being anxious about how other people will react to my anxiety is a whole other monster.

I was about 12 years old when I had my first panic attack. I remember waking up early in the morning with an uneasy feeling, my stomach churning and my heart racing. I got up and paced around my room, going to the window to get some fresh air because I felt like I couldn’t catch my breath.

All I want is to do well at work - I have a right to mental health support

I am a 38-year-old male, I would and have always been described as one of the lads. I love footy, enjoy a beer and a boisterous lifestyle and I have been diagnosed with depression.

I found it very difficult to admit to myself that I was struggling but I knew something was wrong. My stupid male pride and assumption that I was less of a man for struggling with my mental health lead me to conceal my depression from myself and others.

Anxiety isn't "attention-seeking"

You could ask me one simple question, but my anxiety will turn that into 20 questions within seconds. “Are you okay?” becomes “Why are they asking me that?”, “Do I not look okay?”, “Have I done something?”, “Am I in trouble?”.

That’s the best way I describe it to people. I worry about everything, even to the point I worry about worrying.

A lot of people just say “don’t worry” or “you’ve got nothing to worry about”. I then feel stupid…and then worry about feeling stupid.

A simple “how are you doing?” can go a long way

I’ve always been rather private when it comes to my mental health. In 2019 I am willing to change that. I really wish mental health wasn’t such a taboo subject and that people did not feel ashamed to speak of their struggles, because it’s not our fault. But that’s the issue with mental illnesses, they cause you to overthink and you end up thinking it is your fault. It’s not.

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