Speak Out

Things are seen, things are not. 

Some should be, seen that is, some should be shared. 

Some things should not be hidden, though they are

We need to grow up.

******************

Have you ever seen the wind?
Oh sure you have seen the trees it has skinned,
some even that it has pinned.
But have you seen it? The wind?

The air, have you seen the air?
Oh don’t give me that glare
This isn’t some sort of questionnaire.
I am just poking your mind a bit.

What we see and what we can not
They dont usually cause us fraught
If we can not see it, then it is all for naught,
worrying about something we can not observe

Oh, but observe is interesting a word,
for not all is seen, some is heard.
Even still seen or hear, it is still absurd,
the things we miss, or hide as well.

Hidden things, of that I want to speak.
For some, revealing them can be so bleak.
The thought it makes them weak, or even squeak.
Why oh why must these things be hidden

Compassion, understanding is it all talk?
If not, then why do so many balk?
Dreading to share with fear, others would them mock.
It is sad these things that are hidden in minds.

Tormented alone, a solitary fight.
Unwilling to share their imposing plight.
But wanting to with all their being…  all their might
if only, if only, it could be so, done without fear.

For here it is not heard nor even seen,
things in the mind that make you scream.
Mental, disorder, names that seem so mean.
Why is this so, how can this be, the stigma and shame.

Why do we hide and avoid speaking out,
to let others know without a doubt.
Not with a hint, or whisper, but with a shout!
So they can share and love and help us too?

Broken leg, fever or cancer too, of these we announce,
disorder, illness with the word mental we do denounce.
That stigma that is attached we need to trounce!
Is it so because we are fearful and ignorant?

It is time, it is now, this is it,
speak out, or listen and understand a bit
learn more, help, support, be compassionate.
Save a mind that is screaming, alone in silence.

Amber

Mental illness is hidden. Stress and anxiety build in those that conceal it. Shame. The feeling of being unworthy. Crazy, sick.. not normal.

It is so wrong!

The word Mental has been abused. Is it fear? Because it is unknown? You see the torment in their eyes and back up? Why not step forward?

They don’t apply for that job, because some days.. well some days are bad. Or they feel the glances from co-workers.. and customers even.

They worry about all the sick days they require at times, more worry for them, it isn’t desired. 

They stress about the quality of their work, with lower self esteem, self judgment is powerful.

So it is bottled up, festering and bubbling. Avoiding friendships, society too. 

But they are people too, just like you and me. So bright, so Loving with so much to contribute. 

Is it so hard, to help them out? 

We have wheelchair ramps and special parking places, we hold open doors and sign casts, we smile and help and offer more.

So why is the mind so different? When it has a hiccup? Why can’t  we help, go out of our way, help them heal, not to stay away.

No not to treat them differently, but to treat them the same, but with understanding. If you break your leg, we know you will limp. When you lose someone, we know you are sad. We help you. 

Lets grow up.

There should be no fear to tell, to share, announce, no shame. There should be no fear to hear, just the words uttered… “how can I help?” ….and then to do so.

You have to read this post from myobviouslittlesecret

Mental illness and the reactions.

Before I branch onto this very large topic I shall tell of my day. It was not too bad. I think part of the reason for this is because I didn’t have to spend my time in the library because my dad drove into a ditch. His eyes may be bad but if he thought for a second he would have got out but instead drove himself into a big hole, literally. Due to the fact he wasn’t concentrating. So I went back home and got into bed. Missing the library. I then had science and history. Both good, history as odd as always. Got a B on the test, little disappointed since I got an A* on the exam next year but least I know my head is just above water. My dad has his eye check up tomorrow and so because the bubbles and floaters haven’t gone he’s worried that they’re permanent. I said to him: “Dad you have like 3, 4 surgeries on your eye, you’re expecting a lot for it to be better in 5 weeks”. I also had a visual hallucination today which didn’t make a lot of sense since I was really only flirting with the line between mania and mixed episodes. It was a shadow boy, in my eyeline, crossing the road and I almost got my dad to stop the car again but I recognised he wasn’t real before I made him stop. It’s difficult because for a few long seconds you’re not sure. It’s difficult to argue with the evidence in front of us especially when it doesn’t disappear with blinking. But it’s something you have to be able to tell the difference between because it’s a dangerous thing to try and stop for something that’s not real in front of real, speeding cars. Also, I’ve been sleeping more since I’ve deterioated further but I still have nightmares which actually make my entire day worse and honestly, they are in my top 5 triggers. So I wish I was sleeping less. I sleep 4-5 hours at the moment, sometimes only 3. Which is good because I’m sleeping more but quantity doesn’t matter compared to quality and the quality is very poor. But at this current moment I am dipping in and out of mania and depression and from something I once read that is also part of mixed episodes.

So yes, mental illness and reactions. This is a general thing for anyone for mental illness because there IS a massive stigma and I didn’t realise that until I became openish about bipolar disorder. Maybe because I’ve never been around anyone who openly admits they’re mentally ill until now. But even I am shocked at the reactions of some.

I’ve found there are two extreme poles in this area: mocking, ignoring or patronizing and at the other end complete worry you’re going to fall off the wagon anytime soon so that you’re not allowed to do anything. Neither are very nice. But least the worrying makes sense because it means they care enough to worry and are sensitive enough to realise that it hurts. But if you need your freedom to be able to deal with your illness in your own way than it’s not very much welcomed.

But then there’s the mocking side of things. People think it’s okay to bring your illness up in front of everyone and the truth is whilst none of us should be embarrassed about it, I don’t think many people want to make it public knowledge. Then they make comments about how “you’re crazy” even if they put it in a positive light by saying “I don’t think we could be friends if you weren’t crazy.” As if it’s a unique trait, it’s not. It’s not a trait, it’s an illness. We wouldn’t glorify an infection or sickle cell anaemia so why have people come into this “mental illness as a fashion” thing. I don’t just mean eating disorder as to be skinny like a lot of models. I mean depression, bipolar, schizophrenia, BPD all sorts of mental illness being used as a fashion. The problem then arises that people, admittedly primarily teens then begin to fake mental illnesses, this is an article from the Mirror (A British Newspaper) from 2010:

MENTAL illness is the latest fashion accessory for teenagers, a survey revealed today.

Youngsters are faking serious conditions such as bipolar disorder, depression and self-harming in an attempt to look cool and copy celebrity sufferers.

The teens said stars such as Kerry Katona and Britney Spears, who have spoken about their problems, have been an influence.

An alarming 34% admitted lying about having a mental illness in the past, according to online therapy service mentaline.com.

The website’s founder Jesper Buch said: “It’s shocking that so many young people think mental health problems are fashionable.

“It’s a very sensitive topic, so to see that many teenagers are blasé about the whole thing isn’t good at all.

“Many young people are too quick to say ‘I’m depressed’ or try to gain attention by pretending to have some kind of personal issue. Your teenage years should be spent enjoying life, not convincing people that you have issues that should be taken extremely seriously.”

Almost half of those who thought mental illness fashionable claimed it made people “unique” while 24% said it was “cool”. But the majority, 61%, said it “should be taken very seriously”.

3The top five phantom problems were:

1. Eating disorders – 22%2. Self-harming – 17%3. Addiction – 13% 4. Depression – 12%5. Bipolar disorder– 9%

We could blame the celebrities that seem to glamourise it but do they glamourise it? Do any of them really glamourise it? Sure, some do but just because they have it. Just because they come forward to the world and say “hey, I have a mental illness”. But if they don’t come forward they’d be painted as people ashamed of their illness and a disgrace to everyone who suffers with their same illness and it’s just not true.

But because some teens act this way, all teenagers and young adults are tarred with the same brush. Go onto yahoo answers and any teen saying they are depressed are brushed off with teen angst. Some of them probably are just a case of teen angst but some of the people who are truly suffering now are ashamed to come forward to get help.

So in a way can we blame the people who see mental illness in others a glamourous feat? When it is portrayed so much in TV shows and the media and so inaccurately too. As much as I and I imagine many others hate people glamourising our illness, can we blame them fully? I suppose we can’t if we don’t tell them. But if you tell them (hinting doesn’t count) and they still do it, it’s them and not the media and some people still do it because they can’t see the pain. It’s not a cut on your hand, a line of stiches on your stomach or even a tumour on your lung, it’s inside your head and people can’t see it. They don’t even understand how it causes physical problems. Insomnia which causes sleep deprivation, forgetfullness, sluggishness, slow motor ability. So I think it’s a lack of education. We have started to educate children about racism, sexism and homophobia (which are all worthy causes) but what about discrimination against the mentally ill? The ones who not long ago were locked in bedrooms, put in ‘asylums’ and hidden as the poor relation and yet there is little education and the little education there is, is about one mental illness which is depression. Even then depression is either layed on too thick or too thin. So even though anxiety disorders are much more common, we only talk of depression because of the suicide rate but not everything is depression and that’s what the world needs to come to understand.

 Read this also Please. 🙂 a new blog from Sarah. 

SARAH SPEAKS

A Goal

Essay time!

I’ve decided to write about this because it’s been a big part of my life and I feel like no one knows me properly until they know about my past. I’ve only told a few people because I’ve been too embarrassed because of the stigma behind it. I’ve had a mental health issue for 7 years, so a big chunk of my life as I’m only 21! I had anxiety and panic attacks which made me pretty much housebound and made my life hell and I never did anything! I was trapped in the four walls of my house. I recently signed up to www.time-to-change.org.uk/ which you make a pledge to do a certain thing and pledged that I’d speak out about my health issues and try to get rid of this horrible stigma behind mental health. There are many celebrities who have made a pledge on this website such as Frankie Sanford from the Saturdays, Comedian Russell Kane, Stephen Fry and many more. I used to think people with mental health issues were mad because I never knew anyone but me with one and I thought I was mad because it’s very rarely spoke about and I had no one to talk to who could understand me. I believe that a mental health issue could be harder than having a physical illness because it’s harder to talk about as people don’t really understand you unless they’ve been through it themselves and it’s also harder to get help. You can’t just go to the doctors and they give you some drugs to get rid of your thoughts. It takes a lot of time, effort and bravery for things to start falling into place.

I never told anyone because people do not usually understand because they can’t see anything happening. I became quite a good liar as I was always telling people I was busy and couldn’t go out so If I said no to you this is probably the reason why! Sorry! I’d also lie at school in class if I panicked I’d cry but I’d pretend that I had a headache or stomach ache because that’s much easier to explain then a panic attack. I used to skive from school quite often like the ‘rebels’ but I was doing it for a completely different reason!

I quit everything. I was a big football player and used to love going to play matches but then they started having away games where we’d have to go an hour away from home (Just an hour!) and id be panicking before but once I started playing I forgot everything but I could no longer hack the journey so gave up unfortunately.

Truthfully, the NHS hardly helped me even though I forced myself to leave my house to see the doctors about 8 times and everything kept being put off or there was a massive waiting list and they didn’t seem too bothered to help. My school was not particularly helpful either even though my parents sent letters and I had letters from the doctors but I’m guessing they didn’t think it was that important as I was still left  un helped and probably worse as I knew they knew about me and didn’t do anything, especially through my exams. As I didn’t like sitting in the middle, I had to wait until the exam started then I could move to the side so having to get up in front of 200+ students wasn’t nice.

I’m very lucky to have my mom and dad who contacted 2 of the most amazing and kindest people I’ve met and will probably ever meet who helped me to where I am now. In a 4 hour session they spoke to me and I felt they cared for me so that made me feel comfortable. They gave me they’re own therapy which they created called Schema Conditioning Psychotherapy and I believe it’s helped. I do still feel like I’m waiting for a panic attack to come along and I still have small panics but who doesn’t. This year I’ve started driving lessons again after I quit when I was 17 because I was worrying days before my lesson in case I had a panic attack. But I’ve passed my theory test now which I wasn’t even thinking about before because I knew it was impossible for me to even get to the test center. I’m also starting a college journalism course in September then hopefully university in a couple of years. I’m hoping to get my first job soon which I’ll need as I’m 21, and a college course isn’t free for me and it doesn’t come cheap.

If more people would speak out and not be embarrassed I probably wouldn’t have waited 7/8 years to ask for help and I wouldn’t have wasted most of my teen years as now I feel I’m younger than most my peers because I missed out on everything ‘normal’ when I was a teenager. I’m hoping people read this and hopefully not think I’m crazy and speak out themselves. You yourself may probably know or have a mental illness yourself as 1 in 4 people in the UK experience some kind of mental illness so speak out and ask for help or help people you think are struggling! This stigma is ridiculous and people shouldn’t be ashamed to say the word mental health like I was!

Please speak out and help get rid of this stigma!

xxx

Speak Out and listen too.

******************

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About sensuousamberville

I am a Practitioner, teacher and student. I think we should always be students, we should keep our minds open, to continue to learn. :-) Now a mother of two little ones.

12 responses »

  1. This is exactly what I’m trying to do through my blog and make people speak out and get rid of this mental health stigma! This is great 🙂 x

    Reply
  2. It IS a stigma that sometimes seems to never want to go away. Recent events in the world lately are bringing attention to the issue of mental illness

    But we need to look at MORE than just the cases where something extremely bad happens. Everyday someone is struggling … and to them it can be extreme. Or maybe not extreme … but day to day to day to day.

    I am not the best at speaking out … I hide too at times. But I am trying to reach out when I can.

    Speak Out and stop the stigma.

    I am Katie and I suffer from depression. I am not ashamed.

    Reply
  3. Excellent post Amber darling. Showing that change needs to occur, to get this right, not sweep under the mat. No one should be ashamed of suffering. No one has the right to condemn those that may. My daughters didn’t ask for it, they were born with it. They are being helped and lead normal lives. Courage to all that suffer whatever form or whatever degree it has a hold on you. Speaking out, is one of the ways that this stigma will be banished once and for all. xxx

    Reply
  4. It’s the whole concept of an invisible disease…something that has symptoms you can’t understand or see if you haven’t been through it yourself. Speak out is right.

    Reply
  5. Speaking out is one of the best things we can do in this situation.
    I’m happy to say that I’m seeing a lot more people speaking out about mental health, and I’m getting a lot more positive reactions when I tell people about my illness than I am getting negative ones. Perhaps I’m just lucky in the people I know, but I hope it’s a larger change for the better.
    Here’s hoping!

    Reply
    • When people around you know and understand it makes it so much easier, not just for you but those around you, that can now support you, but will not assume other things which damage relationships.

      Good for you 🙂

      Reply

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