Everyone has mental health. We all know some days are good and some days are bad. Negative thoughts, intrusive thoughts, our minds confused and not coping day-to-day.
Stress, anxiety, and depression lead to other mental health problems if they are not recognised, diagnosed or treated in time. Speaking up and seeking help, and receiving it from people who care, is key to a better future.
A couple of years ago I was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD). When the symptoms and potential causes were described to me it made a lot of sense and in hindsight this is something that has followed me since my childhood.
“What’s the rationale behind not letting me have the time off?” I asked, my voice noticeably less brave than my question.
“Just because. This is just how we operate with agency staff. You’re to be flexible to our needs, we can’t allow you flexible working or time off to make your therapy sessions. But put your health first”.
I keep replaying those words over and over in my head. Hoping I could unscramble the paradox. How can I put my health first if I have no structure, no stability, no financial independence?
Two years ago, I started to experience mental health difficulties for the first time. What I mean by that is, two years ago I first became conscious of my own mental illness. My close friends will tell you that this all started long before two years ago. They are probably right but my own awareness only began when I was forced to retire from sport with injury in June 2017, aged 20.
When I was younger, I had an idealised view of university. I created montages in my head of joining societies, making life-long friends and enthusiastically walking to lectures and seminars. In 2016 however, my outlook was different. Throughout my adolescence, I had struggled with anorexia and after a four-year battle, I was now able to become a Psychology student. Yet instead of feeling optimistic, I was filled with an intense fear.