Charity organisations are now telling us that 1 in 4 people will experience mental health isssues in the future. So who does mental health affect? You? Me? Everyone? Actually, you’ll find that it’s closer to everyone; even those that are showing clear signs of a healthy relationship with their friends, family and partners. It affects everyone, it’s four in four. I’ll challenge anyone to sit there and tell me that there have never been any significant troubles in their life. We all have some baggage. Even those from privileged backgrounds.
Even those that give off clear signs of a healthy relationship with their life? You must be joking, right?
No, I’m not actually. The three toughest things in life are getting Married, moving home, and having a baby. I’m sure at least 80% of you reading this article will have been part of at least one of those options before! Mental Health isn’t just for people that are locked up in a hospital far away from society, it’s for every day things — you must notice the emotional lopsidedness you may feel when you are stressed, right? This isn’t you ‘just’ having a bad day, this is your body’s emotional response to a highly stressful situation, and each of us handle it in different ways. I get confused and messy. I know of at least three people that start to get angry and shout, and I know of others that go into their shell. Life, it isn’t simple, so let’s stop pretending it is.
How to have a healthy relationship with your life
This may sound crazy but one of the best ways to start having healthy relationships with yourself and other people is to accept your feelings as natural and own them for what they are. A large part of my life in the past was spent fending off those bad feelings. I know where they stem from, they stem from my Mum telling me that what I’m feeling shouldn’t be happening; to stop crying, to stop being silly, and to stop being angry. She didn’t realise it at the time but what she was essentially doing to me was telling me that what I was feeling was wrong. Let’s be honest, we’re all culprits at this. I can often find myself trying to snap myself out of a bad mood, or trying to tell myself that my negative feelings are a figment of my imagination, that ‘I’m being silly.’ What we don’t realise is that our emotions and feelings are perfectly acceptable. Of course I should be angry; one of my co-workers is essentially trying to manipulate me. Of course I should be sad, my Uncle just died and it’s negatively impacting on my work/life balance. Accept that these feelings are justified.
We need to start accepting our feelings again
I’m definitely one for learning to build positive relationships through emotional connection. When we ask ourselves ‘who does mental health affect’ we need to be honest with ourselves that it affects everyone. No-one is built like a machine and everyone suffers from time to time, be that grief, sadness, negativity, or depression; most of us will experience it at one point in our lives. However, how to have a healthy relationship with yourself isn’t far out of our reach. If I, a stuttering, mumbling, naive, once paranoid schizophrenic can work on himself to become all that he wanted to be, and more, then I fully expect that a lot of you can too – but there needs to be a certain amount of sacrifice. That’s the hard bit unfortunately. With a great future comes great sacrifice. So far, I’ve given up alcohol, cigarettes and needlessly spending. Quitting those three combined have enabled me to empower myself to do amazing things — far outwith what I thought feasible. My achievements may be a speck on what you have planned for yourself, but to do so you need to be realistic and focused, otherwise you are back to square one.
Who does Mental Health Affect?
All of you. In the words of Pulp Fiction, “….every last motherfucking one of you.” Now that we are making advancements in all verticals of science it would be naive to think that some people don’t have mental health issues, ever. I’m sure even the Prime Minister, Theresa May has had one or two wobbly moments in her life, or Donald Trump, The American President, I’m sure he’s had his fair share of run ins with the brain demons. Everyone has their own baggage, and to say people don’t is very backward-steps thinking. There was a time in my life where I thought, or at least wished, that I could be like other people, because they didn’t suffer as I did. As I gradually grew older though, I slowly began to realise that everyone suffers in some form or another. It’s just that some people deal with it better than others do.
So I say happy Mental Health day world! I hope you are all taking good care of yourself!