As people who know me are already aware, I try to be honest about my mental health issues:
- I have generalized anxiety
- I had depression (but still have shortish episodes occasionally)
- I used to self-harm (use sharp objects to scratch my forearm) but have stopped now. Instead, I have mild anger issues that I’m working on.
- I’m on meds (you can ask if you wanna know which ones)
- I see a certified therapist, privately, on a weekly/sometimes bi-weekly basis.
- I occasionally see a private psychiatrist (like I’M “crazy” enough to get on the NHS waiting list! looool (behind the laughter, I’m crying)!)
- I avoid difficult topics by making jokes
- I yoga and sing to feel better (that’s probably all “socially acceptable,” but since we’re sharing…)
Thusly, I’m fine admitting that I’m not perfect. No one I know is perfect. A few people I know THINK they are perfect (or at least act that way towards me).
If you or someone you know is dealing with tenuous mental health (we probably all are/will at some point in our life). Know:
- You’ll be fiiiiine :0) as long as you don’t avoid what’s happening. Think “I’m Not Afraid of Anything“…yea, she’s afraid of fucking EVERYTHING!
- Slow down. Don’t be afraid to find YOUR OWN rhythm
- Cut people out who don’t genuinely care about you
- Maybe…take a break from social media? If you think you may be addicted. Also, try taking a break from anything else you’re addicted to.
- Try to really think, deep down about what may be negatively impacting your life. This can be…your job, your routine, your close relationships, your addictions, politics, capitalism, more generally.
- Get. a. CERTIFIED. therapist. Do NOT just rely on family. or. friends. or. alcohol. That’s fucking bullshit if you’re really struggling. You do not need to feel fucking ashamed for seeing a therapist. Start with the NHS if you’re in the UK. Maybe pay £15-40/hr if you have the money (if you can go to the pub every week, you have the fucking money).
- Go back to what you love.
Feel free to share you own struggles in the comments section if you think it will help :0)
I’m currently in weekly therapy sessions. They’re not cheap (£50 a session), but there are cheaper options (at least in the UK) and online options (but unless there is a REAL person on the other end of the line, I’m skeptical). One of my parents is helping me pay for it, but if she couldn’t pay anymore, I’d find a way to keep getting weekly therapy, at least until I submit my doctorate because I need the professional support right now (and I’m not afraid to admit it).
I need support and I’m proud of myself for being able to write a blog post about it. There are people in my life that would kick me for speaking up about my experience, for admitting I’m in therapy/need help right now, but…screw ’em!
I mention the money side of things first off, because that’s normally the biggest argument people I know make against starting therapy. In my opinion, unless you are living paycheck to paycheck, “I don’t want to pay” is a poor excuse for not getting professional help when you’re not doing well emotionally, psychologically, mentally or whatever you want to call it. You come first in this world. You’re the only one that can look out for yourself and getting help when you need it, will help you do just that!!!
Furthermore, if you are looking for a therapist and have decided “now is the time, world!” from experience, I’d recommend finding someone properly trained and certified through the official national or state system (depending on where you live). Once in a blue moon, you’ll find an uncertified gem through the grapevine, but that’s rare, and you’re better off finding a trained therapist if you genuinely want to get better (they’ll be trained in an evidence-based branch of therapy, which is what you want…unless you believe in magic!).
The last thing I want to say on this topic is…don’t expect to be a 6-sessions-i’m-done kind of patient. I had that attitude starting out and when I had a big breakthrough, I’d quit or switch to bi-weekly sessions, thinking I had my life sorted. And then, I’d have a massive depressive episode and be back in therapy crying. I’ve been with the same lady for over a year and am doing better than i have in years.
So, YAY THERAPY!
All my love,