If you’ve ever wondered what post natal depression ‘looks like’, here it is. This was taken in March, 2016 about two weeks before I was admitted to the mental health unit of my local hospital. What was on the menu? PND, PTSD and OCD. I was in the severe category, which pretty much means anxious and depressed as heck.

May is Mental Health Awareness Month in America. To me, awareness should span 365 days a year across all continents, because it effects more people thank you think. I used this picture to illustrate that being mentally ill doesn’t actually LOOK like anything. Often, you can’t tell if someone is sick unless you make the effort to ask. Even so, getting past the typical “I’m fine” response can take time and patience. From both ends. And for goodness sake, don’t trust what you see on social media. We’re all good at hiding behind the “everything’s perfect” facade, when sometimes our world is crumbling beneath us.

We really have come a long way when it comes to identifying, treating and talking about mental health. However, there’s still a lot of work to be done. There are still a countless number of ‘silent sufferers’ out there feeling ashamed to speak up and get help.

I would encourage anyone who feels like they’re not coping to take a minute to stop and talk to a trusted friend. More often than not, people are generally sympathetic and compassionate to the situation. Of course, turn to the professionals when needed but remember, the shame and guilt is just a feeling and not a true reflection of how other people perceive you. That’s just your mind playing tricks on you, trying to stop you from getting help and experiencing freedom.

From the other end, I think we all could do with improvement when it comes to looking out for each other. We are busy beyond belief these days, but let’s not use that as an excuse to live tunnel visioned looking out for our own interests only. I know, it’s harder said than done. I get that. But simple things like a phone call, a text message to say you’re thinking of someone, a gift, anything to show that you care can open up a door to conversation.

For information, resources and support visit Beyond Blue, or for crisis support and suicide prevention call Lifeline on 13 11 14.

end-the-stigma

#endthestigma #ruokday #reachout #beyondblue

 

 

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