I grew up in a home where mental health problems were present, yet no-one ever explained to me what was going on. My mother would frequently disappear, sometimes I witnessed when they came to get her to be sectioned.
At a dinner at a good friends house the other night, I overheard one of the other guests in conversation with the host. ‘I know loads of people who take anti-depressants’, she said. ‘My dad takes them too and do you know what, I just don’t get it. It’s not like these people haven’t got anything to feel blessed about. It’s about gratitude. They need to stop wallowing and be grateful for what they have – some people have nothing. Having some gratitude would definitely make them feel better’.
I work as a mental health nurse. I love my job. I am so lucky to get to comfort people in distress and witness their recovery. I myself have had family members with severe mental health problems. I have seen how stigma and discrimination is still a massive problem for people with mental health problems. I have seen this problem both on a professional and personal level. At work the other day I became aware of how big the problem actually was.