Our first guest post for this year’s #timetotalkday blogathon is from Neha. Today on Thrive in Chaos, she is sharing a personal story of her and her family’s experience with mental health and mental illness and it has an important message.
Mental Health – A personal story
Mental health – such a big word and yet, it goes unseen by most people, including my family. But, little did we know that there was a member of our own family who was experiencing mental health issues in the house.
Mental health has been defined as affecting our behaviors, how we act, how we respond.
Unfortunately, in our society far less importance and attention is given to this mental issue. Even if that person knows that he is suffering from mental ill-health, he will either ignore it or keep telling to himself that he or she is completely fine. I guess, this is somehow because a lot of people are not well versed with this subject because it is a sensitive one or they think that it will not happen to them so they pay less attention to it.
My uncle was suffering from mental ill-health since a few months and we were not aware of this, despite living under the same roof. There was not some major changes in his behaviors or we just did not pay much attention. Since he always had his happy face alongside with hilarious jokes. But, he was suffering from mental ill-health. He was depressed.
Sure, there were days where he ate less but he covered it up saying that he was not feeling well. And, we believed him.
So, how did we find out?
One day, he came home earlier than usual, sat down on the terrace and started crying loudly. His cries grew louder and louder. When asked, he would not say anything. He would not eat or do anything else. And, then he said the words that have never been said in this house:
“I want to end my life – I cannot do this anymore”
It was really shocking to hear those intentions from someone who was always happy-going.
We immediately took him to a psychologist and that’s when we found out that he was really depressed and was secretly thinking about ending up his life.
We were lucky enough that my uncle had a breakdown the day we were all in the house.
Not everyone gets that lucky.
To everyone reading this article, I would strongly urge you to always have frequent interactions with your closed ones so that they can easily open up about the inner battles that they are facing. Do not avoid this issue, saying that the person will be okay or that it is just a phase. This is not something to tread on lightly. You might not know who is suffering in silence.
And, to whoever is experiencing mental health issues, I understand that it can be difficult to share what is going on with you with anyone. But, please try to talk with a psychologist or someone that you trust. You will be surprised how many people will come forward just to help you.
Neha is an island girl living on the tropical island of Mauritius. She is a blogger at The Elysian and a freelance writer. Writing & creativity are in her blood and she started her website so that she could reach a bigger audience with her words and with a belief in making the world a better place. She love books and photography and says nature is her thing. Neha says: “Do more of what sets your soul on fire – that’s what I’m doing.”
If you or someone you know is struggling with mental health then please don’t be afraid to reach out and talk to someone. You are not alone and help is available. By opening up and starting the conversation we can move forward together and look to a mentally healthy future. Below are links to a range of fantastic organisations that can provide information, advice and services.
The Samaritans – http://www.samaritans.org
Mind – http://www.mind.org.uk
Young Minds – http://www.youngminds.org.uk
Papyrus (prevention of young suicide) – https://www.papyrus-uk.org
Self Harm UK – https://www.selfharm.co.uk
Time to Change – http://www.time-to-change.org.uk
Rethink Mental Illness – http://www.rethink.org
American Foundation for Suicide Prevention – https://www.afsp.org
Please do not struggle alone.