Those Who Struggle
There are people in your community that are fighting to survive. Some are battling life threatening illnesses such as cancer and degenerative conditions. Some are desperately trying to feed themselves whilst living on the bread line. But the majority of people in your community who are fighting to survive are trying to cope with a mental illness. Perhaps, some are even trying to survive mental illness as well as these other life-threatening health and social problems.
I am not saying that the severity of mental illness in anyway outweighs that of physical health problems. What I am saying is that our 21st century community is struggling on mass with mental health issues. It is not just the emo kid that sits at the back of the bus, the ‘incapable’ teacher who breaks down in front of a class or the guy in the office who everyone thinks is a bit ‘strange’.
According to The World Health Organisation, 1 in 4 people will struggle with a mental health condition at some point in their lives. This is a well-known statistic that is on the rise. What’s more this is only the amount of people who are diagnosed with a mental health condition and does not include the people that are struggling to cope with it on their own. It is more likely than not that when you walk down your street you will see more people who are struggling with mental illness than all other physical health problems combined.
When I say people with mental health problems are struggling to survive, I am talking about how they are struggling to meet the concept of what it is to live and have life.
People with mental health problems can find it painstakingly hard to extract any kind of joy from their day. They may also struggle to even participate in things that could bring them joy. They can be so tired and worn out that they are unable to do things that bring them meaning and life. This can be despite desperately wanting to do these things.
BUT THAT IS NOT THE END…
Mental health may be the highest disease burden in the world and the 2nd biggest cause of disability, but people do not have to be debilitated by it.
With the ‘right’ support can return life, joy and meaning with in that. I say ‘right’ loosely. Different therapies and treatments are right for different people. In fact, often a combination of different therapies will support an individual and teach them how to cope with their illness better than 1 singular treatment. Finding the right amount of input can take time, trial and error and be frustrating, but people can learn to live their life.
I know what you are thinking. I personally have had countless professionals, relations and friends tell me that with the right therapy I will get better. And it can be frustrating because I know I want to get better but I just don’t know how or where to start.
WHERE TO START
I do have a suggested starting point. It starts by doing a bit of research. I would suggest websites such as mind.co.uk .
In particular, go to mind’s shop section and view their list of publications. For FREE you can view online, download or pick up a copy of all their publications in your local mind. They only charge if you want a paper copy delivered.
They have booklet on everything mental health related on the Mind Website.
*Every mental health condition – Diagnostic criteria, Symptoms, Treatments that work well for the condition, medications that work well for the condition, where to access these, real life account of how people feel when they have this illness and what has helped them etc.
*All the distinct types of therapies – What they are, who they help, how they work, their benefits, their drawbacks, past user testimonials and views, how to access the therapy and useful contacts.
*All the distinct medicines used to treat mental illness – things they help with, side effects, usage time etc.
*Your legal rights when it comes to mental health in the UK – What your rights are, how to complain, who to complain to, how to take a complaint higher, useful contacts etc..
*Coping with your mental health and making sure your rights are adhered to situations such as work, study environments etc.
SERIOUSLY, IT IS BRILLIANT. And it has helped me SO much!
Have a flick through the booklets they offer that may be relevant to you. Make some notes. Identify potential illness you think may be affecting you as well as potential therapies and medicines you think may help you and match your symptoms. Then approach your GP / Doctor / Psychiatrist and ask them about these possibilities and what they can do to help you purse these.
TAKE A PHOTOCOPY OF THESE SHEETS.
ONE FOR YOUR GP AND ONE FOR YOU. THIS WILL ALLOW YOU BOTH TO HAVE A SHEET AND DISCUSS IT IN YOUR APPOINTMENT. IT WILL ALSO REMIND YOUR DOCTOR TO ARRANGE THESE THINGS FOR YOU AFTER YOU HAVE LEFT. THEY CAN REFER BACK TO THIS SHEET
THIS ARTICLE AND YOU
If you have a mental illness and are feeling stuck, try this suggestion as a starting point. I find that the more I know what is affecting me, and therefore how it can be treated the more hopeful I become about learning to cope with that issue.
If you know someone who is struggling with mental illness, this is a prompt to help them find some starting points for their recovery!
If you are not very familiar with mental illness, this has hopefully made you a bit more aware of people’s struggles and just prompted you to be a bit mindful of other people’s struggles and has equip you to be able to offer some support to people with mental illness that you may come across in the future. Your support can go a long way!
So, a conclusion! Many of our nation are struggling to live a fully, happy and meaningful life because of mental illness. Often people with mental illness struggle with where to start when trying to get better or they become stuck in a ‘rut’. But create a little research project for yourself. Start with Mind and use my free PDF template to guide you through your research. Knowledge IS power. Knowing what you have and how it can be treated can really help give you a sense of hope for a less bleaker future. And you know what if you seek out opportunities to learn about your condition and how to cope with how it affects you, you can actually live a really fulfilling life!
My journey is different and mine for the making,. So is yours.
Someone who has lived this practice, breathed it and doubted it herself over and over again. Someone still struggles but is beginning to see more little joyful moments in life.
AS ALWAYS PLEASE LET ME KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS BELLOW AND HOW YOU FOUND THIS ACTIVITY. WAS IT HELPFUL? WHAT NEEDS EDITING IN THE PDF? 🙂