Search engines are being used to search for information relating to mental health. The priory group reported that people in the uk, are searching depression 27 times a minute, stress 22 and anxiety, 21 times a minute. These statistics whilst concerning, are not however a shock. Its been well documented that mental health services are less than adequate and as a result, people are literally suffering more than they should be.
As someone with personal experience with mental health, since the age of 13, i find it unbelievable how little we, as a society have evolved in terms of education, services and stigma. twenty years ago, the mental health system was prehistoric with even nurses showing prejudice towards those of us with mental challenges. Barely 16 years old and suffering from anorexia nervosa, i was placed in to an adult psychiatric hospital and my room was a shoe box with bars on the window. Some of the nurses treated me like a naughty child for not eating and it was obvious that the awareness of eating disorders was drastically lacking.
EFFECTS OF HOME LIVING
As a society, we have come together due to the covid experience. Everyone has been forced to slow down and a huge sense of community has been awakened and is much more appreciated. Whilst there have been huge blessings to being at home more, there have also been alot of challenges for people with mental health conditions. ......
.......The worry and stress of unemployment, not being as actively social and the fear around the virus itself. The pressurues of parenting 24/7,financial concerns, on top of a vulnerability in these new times, exposing or exaggerating a mental health issue. This is a lot for someone who doesn't have these issues, so for those that do, it can feel a hundred times worse.
I have to say that i fit in to this category and have made the decision to now speak out about my own personl experience with eating disorders, social phobia and body dysmorphia. For far too long, I have felt less of a human being for experiencing these issues and it really hasn't served me well. The more we speak out and are open and honest about our experiences, the more we will be able to confront the stigma and shame that we feel in society. Disarming these barriers will then open more doors for treatment. Instead of staying behind closed doors and googling symptoms, lets get to the gp and demand to be treated. The more we do this, the less able, the government will be able to ignore the situation.
Alongside seeking professional treatment for ourselves, what else can we do. The best decision i made, was to get educated. Education for mind, body and spirit has had a drastic effect on the severity and also brought me recovery. You can wait to be seen by a professional but what can we do in the mean time, to take control of our situation and not wait around for that appointment.....
KEEP DRINKING ~ filtered water if possible, green, chamomile tea
FOOD ~ A good diet can ease some of the effects of depression & anxiety. Foods such as oily fish, colourful fruit & veg, avocado.... reduce processed & fast foods, alcohol and caffeine.
GRATITUDE ~ Keep a diary of three things each morning & evening of the things you are thankful for that day. e.g the sunshine, warm house, children etc
SUPPORT ~ Seek support and give it to others . online mental health forums can be great for daily support. Try and limit social media and news broadcasts.
LAUGHTER ~ Its hard to crack a smile when you are feeling like crap, so by actively seeking out ways is a productive way to take control of your mood. Watching a funny film, may eventually have a positive impact.
THOUGHT PATTERNS ~ Letting our minds run a mock is extremely dangerous for those with mental health issues. Its VITAL to get this under control asap. Listen to positive affirmations daily, write down your thoughts and then challenge them. Read about the mind and ways to help yourself.
HOBBIE ~Find something you can immerse yourself in for a few hours. There are endless activiti to do at home, from board games, knitting, baking, drawing.......! Making an effort to try something will help keep your mind present and not focused on inner thoughts or feelings.
In conclusion... although, mental illness awareness and acceptance has some way to go. We can feel hopeful, that it seems to be moving in the right direction and is better than is was. Lets also be appreciative of the heavy load on the nhs at the moment and that everyone is doing the best they can. Do, seek professional help with that, taking responsibility for some of our own daily routines, may just have a positive impact and improve the situation.
Whilst search engines are with out a doubt, a fantastic tool, it can be dangerous when using this to self diagnose or look for all the answers online. Even with covid, it is still important to seek help for ourselves. Not keeping it silent inside because that only agitates the situation. so if you can find the strength..... speak out and start with even one daily activity, to take control back of your life. Most importantly, we deserve the same respect as someone who has a physical ailment. YOU GOT THIS!!