I am "Mental Health Issue" - I don't discriminate
I just thought I'd introduce myself. I am "Mental Health Issue". I will be a friend with anyone. I don't care who you are, not one bit - your gender, ethnicity, colour, religion are of no importance to me. Not even your age - yes, that's right, I even associate with children. I don't care where you come from, your background, how much money you have (or don't have) - I don't care who you know, or even if you've been in touch with other issues I know. I don't discriminate against anyone. Like I said, I and my fellow issues even visit children as well - we associate with anyone and everyone.
I will call in on you when you aren't expecting me (I'm very selfless like that). How long I stay around for...well, who knows? That can be down to you!
Some of my companions are known more specifically by names like "Depression", "Anxiety", "Panic attack" and "Anorexia nervosa", and we all keep in touch with "Suicide". Suicide is a bit of a hanger-on really - Suicide is with all of us, and comes round when people have had enough of us and can't deal with us being around anymore. They start to feel it's their only form of escape from us. There are lots more of us obviously, but that's some of us to think about for now.
I hear people discussing Mental Health Issues sometimes, talking about us secretively, like they're ashamed of us - strange really, considering you people get on at each other for forms of discrimination, yet we Mental Health Issues don't discriminate against anyone. Anyway, word around here is that there is more talking going on than ever...people are even talking about us out in public, and it's getting a few of us concerned about our future. Right now, we can do what we want because we know people are afraid to do anything about us - people don't like to seek help because of the stigma they feel is attached to having us in their lives. When people take back the power and start breaking down that stigma, it's so much harder for us to stick around.
When we come into people's lives, the longer we are there unchallenged without them seeking help, the better it is for us - we can really become part of their life. In fact, we can start to control it - stopping them getting out of bed, going to work, taking care of themselves and others...We can make them start thinking in a way that isn't accurate - not a true reflection of reality. We really are something else to be honest - I bet you can't make other people think and behave this way!
We get stronger when we feel you are getting weaker - it gives us more power. Sometimes we can get that much of a firm grip on someone's life that that hanger-on Suicide starts making an appearance - and we all know that make the worst-case scenario happen for people and their loved ones. Ignoring Mental Health Issues like us can be the difference between life and death.
But I'm going to let you in to a secret of ours - the point when we start to get worried is when people that have us in their lives start being pro-active about us - when they make the decision to fight against us, to tell someone...a family member or friend can just be the start.
It's even worse for us when they visit their GP, or when they visit a Counsellor, Psychologist or Psychiatrist - that's when we know our days are numbered. Still, that doesn't stop us trying - we get quite comfortable in people's lives you see, so we do all that we can to stay part of it.
I hope you don't all start talking about us and reaching out to someone who can help you - we would be lost without you all really. Anyway, it's time for me to go - I've got a new friend to visit.
Mental Health Issue
Anxiety & panic attacks
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
Suicidal feelings - Plus lots more
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About Adam Johnson
I am a qualified integrative counsellor. I have experience of working in the NHS as a counsellor for the Neurology department. I run a voluntary counselling service for people in the local community to help them access free counselling. I am also currently undertaking a placement with Place2Be, as well as run my own private practice - Mind2Talk.