As someone who battled with mental health problems for as long as I can remember – (as in, I genuinely think I popped out of the womb panicking I struggled with anxiety that long) – I’m in a place where I’m willing to talk about mental health until the cows come home because, quite frankly, I think it’s something that can never be discussed enough.
OCD, despite popular belief, stands for obsessive compulsive disorder- not obsessive cleaning disorder. I was diagnosed in January 2018 and have since spent most of my time rolling my eyes at how the condition is seen by the general public.
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?