Hello all my wonderful followers and readers!
As a person who has been quite open about my diagnoses and mental illnesses, I thought it would be a good idea to take part in a mental health tag I found on the interwebs. One of my goals with my new blog is to bring more awareness to this topic and talk more openly about my mental illnesses. I hope to maybe inspire or help others by sharing my experiences and bring awareness at the same time. We together can end the stigma and one way we can do that is by sharing our stories. I thought this would be a great way to start doing that.
If you are open and ready to share your mental health illness or illnesses, feel free to join in. If you want to fill out the Q&A for your own personal reasons and are not ready share it, that is okay too. If you don’t have a mental illness, you can just share the post if you want to show others who battle mental illness that they are not alone. Use your imagination (drawings, poetry, take a picture etc) and want to take part in any shape or form, please do!
The original tag was created by http://www.hollieroseblog.com/2015/05/the-mental-health-tag.html
As you can see the original blogger came up with this a couple years ago and I am more than happy to have it circle around so much later as there still seems to be misunderstandings and a stigma about mental illness in society.
So here is my participation…My Mental Health Tag/My Story
What Is Your Mental Health Issue?
Depression (I believe goes hand in hand with growing up autistic (not knowing it) and depression runs strong on my dad’s side of the family.)
Anxiety (General Anxiety Disorder and Social Anxiety Disorder)
Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
Do You Have Medication and/or Therapy?
I have always been fearful to try medication so it was something I never really brought up or asked for with any doctor. At a young age I was afraid to ask for help or therapy because of the stigmas attached to mental health and not entirely knowing what the problem was. At one point I thought it was just me, I was weak and couldn’t suck it up. So I tried to be strong and play it off like I was okay, I was fine like everybody else. It blew up in my face. It is why I want to bring awareness to things like mental illness now. The combination of it was I didn’t want to try meds before seeking further professional opinions (which I didn’t cause fears and not knowing what was wrong. I was a quiet kid. Heh) and my biggest fear with medication was all the negativity with them I heard. I know I have a very easily addictive personality and never wanted to be drug dependent. I also am a person who needs to feel and deal with situations on hand because it is how I always have done things. I didn’t want to feel numb to my emotions or unnaturally chemically ‘balanced.’ Instead I did other things that didn’t help and was stupid. I regret it, well at least not seeing if medication could help me temporarily or what have you. It may help me with things like my depression episodes/cycles and/or anxiety. I have no idea. As for therapy it would be my first choice, I do want to seek therapy when I can afford it. Through that I would then consider maybe medication if needed before I knock it.
What Therapy/Medication Have You Tried and Has It Worked For You?
Read above question.
How Long Have You Had Problems For?
For as long as I can remember I struggled with something in one way or the other. My suspicion in my teen years was depression and questioning why I seemed so different from everybody else and couldn’t relate to anyone. That kind of ‘identity crisis’ thing continued into my early twenties as did my depression. When I did discover why I was different and admitted more to my depression etc, I went on a journey to try to get my life back in order. I am still on that road and trying to find true happiness and accept myself. ETC. So the majority of my life I have had problems and still do.
Does Your Family/Friends Know?
The only person who knows about my mental illnesses and struggles etc in full detail is my husband.
My dad always knew and talked to me about depression. I don’t know what they know and not know entirely, but as their kid I am sure it was always suspected there was at least something different about me and they know I struggled in my teens especially. I am sure the same goes for my brother, I never talked to him about my mental illnesses, but we were close growing up and by the way he always protected me, I think he had/has an idea.
I have told a few coworkers and my last manager, but was only after they gained my trust and if it felt necessary to share.
I have mentioned it to a few other close people, but it was met with “it doesn’t look like there is anything wrong with you” so that is where those conversations ended.
Does This Effect Your Work And Daily Life?
Yes it does daily, just some days/weeks/months etc are worse than others. It depends on the illness as well. I have fought off depression and felt truly happy for a period of time, but then it cycles back. I have and will probably always deal with my anxiety, and other associated mental illnesses I have. Addiction doesn’t affect my daily life because I no longer allow it too, but I know I have an addictive personality and if I allowed it, it could easily take over my life. Although I am still smoking (yeah guys I didn’t quit completely. *hides*) which is the last stupid habit I need to quit. Cold turkey was a fail I turned into a wreck, anxiety rose to high levels, I broke down and cried all day until I gave in. *kicks self* I think the stress I am under though not an excuse is not helping. So the hubby and I are looking into vaping nicotine for me (he doesn’t smoke) where I can dial back the nicotine to my desire and in the mean time at least I am not frying my lungs (as it is not hot like a cigarette) and inhaling nasty shit like all that tar. Vaping is not healthy either though, and it is just going to be a band-aid to help me quit because I have not liked other nicotine substances. I don’t want to try those crazy drugs either that give you nightmares etc. xD
What Makes You Feel Calm?
Listening to music. Sometimes writing. Doing activities I enjoy (netflix, sims, coloring etc) or stimming to help relax me. Back rubs or cuddles from the hubby. Tea. Giving myself a time out to refocus. Hot shower/bath. Going for a walk/workng out when I feel restless. Peanut Butter. Resting. My stuffed animals I collect. I have quite a few things that help me calm down. I have developed many coping mechanisms as I grew up a anxious wreck tbh.
What Do You Do In A Crisis?
If I am in a place where I can find a place to be by myself or with just my husband, I do that until it passes. Take my ipod into the bathroom and blare music etc. Take the day off and try to take care of myself. I have been known to take a few days/week off when a crisis hits before I return back to somewhat okay again. That can also be because of shut down from mental exhaustion and avoiding a crisis etc. If I can’t get out of a situation or failed to remove myself sooner, the crisis gets worse and your guess is as good as mine. Fight with whoever is around me in defense to be left alone and get really introverted, or I just break down and lose all control. I normally can handle crisis or at least know when they are happening and the best thing for me is to be by myself. Then when I come back to reality, I try to talk it out with my husband. Before I kinda just kept it all bundled up. I do other things to avoid crisis from happening. I guess it also depends on what one considers a crisis. I hope this makes sense.
What Advice Would You Give To Others Suffering?
If you suspect something feels wrong, or you can’t get through it on your own, over come it etc…Seek help. There is nothing wrong with you, and most of us aren’t suppose to go through life alone. Talk to somebody, if you are too scared to seek professional help or unsure if you should, tell someone close to you that you trust. Don’t give up on yourself because you have a bad day/week. Take time for yourself and take care of yourself. Find self coping mechanisms that will help you even if they are little things. Do at least one thing everyday that you truly love and brings you enjoyment. Sometimes especially when dealing with mental health problems, you have to put yourself first and your needs.
What Makes You Smile?
My husband, children, animals, music, writing, stuffed animals, a funny clip on youtube, movie or show, people with a good sense of humor, kindness, people who share a smile with me. Quite a few things make me smile. As hard as life can be sometimes there are still those beautiful and happy moments I try to live for.
Describe Your Mental Illness In Five Words?
Exhausting, confusing, frustrating, permanent and restless
Insert A Picture To Make People Smile (I am so excited to get a kitten. :))
Now here are some quotes/pictures that will hopefully bring a smile to your beautiful face and maybe inspire. 🙂