It's mental health awareness week...I've been feeling compelled to write something based on my experiences of personal and professional impressions of mental health but to be honest it's been a struggle.
I feel that everyone has at least one thing that is troubling them, whether it is health, wealth, family, work or friends, all can be incredibly thought consuming no matter what level of pressure this has on their brain BUT when you have a mental health problem on top of aforementioned emotional troubles it can lead to isolation and insolation; it can make you feel unworthy, needy and overwhelmed.
I've used this metaphor before and probably will again; if you imagine that your brain is a car, you're driving along and remember that you have to pay a bill, that bill is represented as a big, bright beach ball and you place it on the back seat, car engine light has just lit up...another beach ball in the back, your parents birthday coming up...another beach ball, need to make an appointment...another ball, kids have world book day and you have to make a costume...yet another ball!
That back seat quickly fills and you can no longer see out of the rear view window as you're driving along, the squeaks of the beach balls against each other is causing distraction, it feels like there is no air in the car, it's becoming far too crowded and too much to cope with.
This may seem relatively usual and perhaps some may think it's easy to deal with but if you add depression, anxiety or any other mental illness into the mix, the car becomes a Mini, heating on full and the windows are stuck and won't open...there's no air, you can't escape the thought of all the beach balls that you have to deal with, do you get out of the car and just abandon them all? Do you take each ball one by one and attempt to deflate it? Do you get so overwhelmed that you sit and cry and pretend it's all not happening? Phone a friend? 50/50?
Hard to say how anyone would react, how anyone could cope with the situation because chances are you'll never be in my imaginative world!
My incredibly long winded point is...you don't know what's going on in people's head, just try to be kind!
The nicest thing could be as simple as seeing your friend, work colleague or member of your family and just say "that's a lot of beach balls in your car, are you ok?", a lot of people don't have someone to check if they're ok, loneliness kills, it's hard to be alone and so easy to become lonely.