Mental Health is an issue I want to unpack and discuss in-depth with my blog, so this post will be just the beginning in what I hope to be a nice sized collection, and it should be the only one that isn’t researched, referenced and written to plan.
I am sorry for this, but I am on a roll right now between assignments and I while I have this in my head I need to spit it out. So lets treat this as the introduction to my future discussions.
Raising awareness for Mental Health.
This has come along way. With Social Media we are sharing alot of awareness for a lot of important issues, and some awareness raising has really saved lives through sharing stories and raising funds for organisations that work on the issues (not just mental health issues- general health issues and socio issues included).
This year I have seen a surge of talk around Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which I don’t believe has gotten any attention previously and is still currently completely underrated in its effects.
So this has been ticking my head as I see images and shareable texts floating around Facebook accounts. I also came across video’s by Thomas Sanders – I love his humor and his ability make content that is hilarious without being taken at the expense of others.
I laughed at a few video’s that laughed at how hard adulthood is, at jokes for overcoming social anxiety and crippling fear of not achieving much in life etc etc etc….
These jokes are relatable to people of any age, but specifically for my generation. I see articles lately telling me the Aussie Dream is changing, that young adults are now seeking apartments instead of homes with sizable yards.
I don’t remember the dream changing. I don’t remember anyone my age choosing to look for an apartment life over a private property for any reason other than it being within their means.
I don’t for a second believe that any dreams have changed, but the circumstances of the times have lead people to settle for what they can get.
Which brings me back to the jokes around social and mental issues and ‘raising awareness’. The point of these jokes and images is to start discussions and to make it more acceptable to talk about this topics, to ditch the stereotypes that bring shame to those who suffer from these issues.
But today when I think about it I don’t see it as being much easier to talk about. All I see is the issues being normalised. We may be happy to raise our hand and say we have suffered from depression, or anxiety, but fixing this issues? Where has that gone?
It particularly hit me when I read an article “4 Signs of High-Funcioning Depression and Anxiety”.
I’m sorry, WHAT?
Yep. I read it and I read about myself.
Being able to wake up and drag myself around work with a mask on, only to come home tear it off and dive straight back into bed. Letting takeaway food containers litter my room, not showering or dressing unless it was for work or to sneak to the store for food.
This is ‘High Functioning” because you can still put on a face for some hours of the day so that you don’t become broke, starving and homeless.
High functioning sounds quite positive doesn’t it? I’m sure many with crippling depression read this and wish they had that, just so that they could avoid the concrete problems associated with not showing up at work at all.
The article included a tweet of a girl who showed her room filled with trash, during her depression and the one day she had energy she managed to clean the whole room and that was the highest point she had had in a long time.
I’ve been there, and I have been there as recently as this year.
I don’t doubt for a second that thousands have done this as well. Why is this still happening when we are so open to talking about and raising awareness about it?
Because we are normalising it. We are seeing how widespread it is and bringing the standard down to that level- and this is NOT ok.
This is something I definitely want to change. Feeling happy and normal should not seem like a life long goal to try and attain. It is the most basic benchmark that every individual should possess, in my opinion- and it is something that I very much want help to change.
I have been procrastinating again today with my study. Part of my day I spend reflecting on my year and the change I have experienced in recent months. While I am undergoing some stress with work, moving, completing my assignments and getting fit again – I am extremely happy and grateful at this time.
I thought back to 4 or 5 months ago, and it was another person entirely. It was a girl who was crying, binge eating, and lying in bed all day watching youtube true crime vidoes and sleeping all weekend to retain energy for a monday-friday. Tired 24/7. And this was society’s definition of ‘High Functioning depression’.
Well it is not something I call high functioning, and it not something I want to normalize for anybody else. I would really like to see some change in the way we are romanticizing mental health and the other issues that branch from here. We don’t need to be accepting these issues, we need to be making changes and creating real solutions.
So this is it for now – I want to unpack the many issues around mental health, I want to brainstorm idea’s to change how we are treating it as a society and I am more than happy to share my own experiences if it means anything. I told you out the outset I needed to spit this out so apologies for the non existent structure- but you were warned! (Trust me, it pains me, English is my favourite subject but my brain is mush and I cannot wrap up a decent conclusion so I refuse to try tonight).
So until my next 2 assignments are submitted, I won’t have time to start writing about anything but it will come, there is so much I want to talk about and I will talk about it.
As always, if you do need someone to talk to, you can always reach out to me. I am not the most reliable or stable myself – but I have an impressive record of listening to many many people from all over about all sorts of underlying problems and it has never been a burden.
You are never a burden.