Christmas is a time when loneliness can turn into a more sever mental health issue, when depression and anxiety can be at it’s highest for those suffering this mental health condition; and when suicidal thoughts can turn into terrible actions.
One of the most important things for us all is to understand what help there is out there, be honest about our own mental health, and share our experiences with other sufferers; and most of all let them know they are not alone.
While celebrities are opening up about their mental health issues in support of campaigns to change people’s perception of mental health illnesses, many see them as far removed from us ‘ordinary people’ and able to secure the resources required to help them deal with their mental health problems, that we are unable to find or even are aware of.
In some ways, their examples can be even more isolating to those living alone or in families were there is a lack of understanding of depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, bi-polar and other mental health conditions. So, it is important we all understand that 1 in 4 ‘ordinary people’ will experience a mental health issue at some point in their lives. That it is certainly not a sign of weakness and not something to be ‘ashamed of’.
Friends and family members can be a great source of support and help to come to terms with your mental health, recognise the causes, and then help you go through the process of recovery of your life and the management of a condition such as depression, anxiety, low self esteem and most importantly the removal of guilt that so many people with a mental health illness live with everyday.
Nor should there be any shame in taking medication for your mind. After all, if you broke a leg, you wouldn't think twice about having it set in plaster to help it heal.
Below, an ‘ordinary person’, Tracey Walker, with honesty and candour; has opened up to her Face Book friends about her life’s traumas, including sexual abuse, and the subsequent damage to her mental health; in an attempt to help others who are suffering alone, without support and who may not even recognise that the way they feel can be addressed and alleviated once the causes are identified and appropriate help and support received.
Tracey, who is far from ‘ordinary’, in her own words:
Abuse comes in many forms - mainly physical (the most spoken about) or mental. My life has covered both kinds, from sexual, physical and mental abuse. I've been blessed it never turned me to drugs or alcohol or behavioural issues.
Little did I know this would unlock the door to all the anguish and pain I had suffered in my life - beginning from my sexual abuse I had suffered as a child from a close family friend.
The death of my husband, who I never had the chance to mourn, the death of my Grandma, who I never got to say goodbye too, as I was trapped in Saudi, the death of my best friend who also had cancer, but left on holiday, as she didn’t want me to know she was dying and I never saw her again.
Physical abuse from my brother in law, and mental abuse from my husband’s family on a daily basis. being stalked and people paid to spy and report back to my husband’s family. The attempt to take my children from me and steal my home, and the realisation that I may never see my friends and family and my country again.
We live with ourselves until we die, we should love ourselves, care for ourselves and spoil ourselves. We are the most important person in the world and we should 'Never ' forget that.
Speaking to Unionsafety, Tracey added:
"British women returning from the middle east are aprticularly badly served, and in need of specific support and mental health services.
Currently, there is no therapy here so women such as myself have had to come back to no support.
Religion isn't a factor. We are british but we go thru the same thing as refugees cos we were away so long - but the refugee agencies wont see us - and the western standard therapy doesnt understand us so we are in no mans land.
I want to change that."
Source: Tracey Walker / Unionsafety
You can find mental health resource documents to download from the Unionsafety E-Library Database