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Thursday, 25 February 2016

What is "deemed" a mental illness?

Having an mental illness can seriously affect the way you live, making daily tasks a struggle whilst trying to keep yourself together, but what mental illness is actually serious?All of them.During my teens, I would suffer from slight anxiety and be quite nervous, because my confidence was destroyed by bullying and I couldn't stand in front of the class without the feeling of my heart about to burst through my chest.Panic attacks were another thing I would suffer from, mainly during stressful periods like exams or netball matches.The doctors didn't see anything wrong with me and just said it was "normal" behaviour.Ever since then, my anxiety got worse, to the point I was diagnosed with anxiety disorder last year, and despite the many times its mentioned by me or someone on social media, not many people realise how serious it is.I'll hold my hands up and say "yes, during my teens, I never understood how serious anxiety disorder was" alongside with many other illnesses, because all we're taught at school when it came to "becoming an adult" would be sex.What about teaching us when ourselves or someone we may know that starts to show signs of an mental illness, helping them get the help that they need, or giving us an understanding of what it is and on how it can affect your life so easily.It would change people's mindset so much by actually being able to relate to those who suffer from this and maybe, just maybe, society wouldn't be so harsh on people, treating them as an outcast.

This topic got me thinking more and more about it in the last couple of days, because of a post on facebook that was treated quite negatively.I understand people have their own opinion and we all look at it from our own point of view, but many people lack of trying to see it from their point of view also and jump straight down there throats.I'm part of a local group on facebook, thats linked to one of the news reporters on the island, for people to post incidents and warn others of possible delays.A teenager posted a picture of an ambulance, with some teenagers hanging around and some police, near the incident.The title of this post was:

"2 police cars and ambulance bottom of union street for a mental women that was standing in road and shouting like mad"

This lady is quite known to people of the area, suffering from an mental illness and although we don't know what it is (respect of privacy), the original poster got a whole feed of negative comments because he used the word "mental".I didn't take this personally despite having an illness and could somewhat see where others were coming from.He apologised not meaning to offend anyone as he was only posting to let people know to be careful of the area as she was quite near the road and was referring to her mental illness.He also admitted that he didn't know how to word it nor have an understanding of the distress this poor lady was in, which goes back to the point I made at the beginning that this needs to be addressed in schools.Its either mainly picked up at college/uni, going through it yourself or adulthood.Mental illnesses need to be accepted to the point of that we are ALL capable of it, and sometimes (my incident for example) having so many of my buttons pushed from bullying, harassment, emotional abusive relationship, I eventually cracked and was overcome with a huge amount of anxiety.

So please if you know someone that has a mental illness, maybe look it up to see what they could be going through, or offer to listen to them to get an understanding, because living with a mental illness can be seriously tough, but when you have people around you that don't understand,things are so much harder as we feel like we're getting shut out.No matter what tiny steps you take, its a working progress to getting better :)