Anxiety and Depression – An Awareness of One’s Mental Health

I am a mother, a wife, a daughter, a friend, and I am no stranger to mental health issues. I have not only witnessed such in society, but have dealt with it firsthand. Depression and anxiety have plagued my family for generations. Of course, that in no way makes me an expert.

When I was younger, I associated the condition to circumstance. My mother suffered because she had lost her child…then her children. I suffered due to the death of my sister, among so many other things. But the truth is, long before my loss, before any ‘reason’ for depression existed, I felt disconnected from the world, unworthy of friendships and happiness.

That’s what mental illness creates in an individual, a sense of isolation. A fear that there is no way out of the pain and despair.

And yet, I failed to see the true depths of the condition until my daughter, not yet a teenager, was diagnosed with extreme anxiety, depression, and ADHD, with self-harm tendencies and suicidal thoughts. It’s amazing how quick we kick into action when it is someone else who is in pain, rather than ourselves.

A ton of changes have been made in my daughter’s life…in the life of our family…to help us all find a healthy balance. Along the path to balanced mental health, there has been a fair amount of learning. It’s a long road, but the light of hope for the future is a little brighter and growing stronger all the time.

The truth is, 1 in 5 people suffer from some type of mental illness.

One in five! Let that sink in for a moment.

So, the next time you pop into your local Starbucks and feel anxious about all the people in the shop, know that one in every five people present are experiencing something similar.

Do you suffer from anxiety? Possibly someone you know is suffering. I found this particular video rather helpful in explaining how the condition may affect an individual.

Don’t become the victim. Take action. Know your facts.

Mental illness can be a battle of the mind. An internal war waged among your thoughts and emotions.

The internal battle can lead to self-harm (as a way to redirect one’s thoughts from the mental pain) and thoughts of suicide. But most people don’t truly want to die. They merely feel overwhelmed, unable to cope, and see no other way out of their suffering.

(Mental illness (depression, anxiety, etc.) should not be confused with sadness and should not be treated as such. )

What can you say to or do for someone who’s is suffering?

  • Number one, don’t judge. Seriously…don’t.
  • Be honest and listen. Really listen.
  • Be supportive and seek a professional support system.
  • Be sure to take care of yourself, too. A healthier you makes for a healthier support team member.
  • Educate yourself!
  • Learn possible stressors/triggers.
  • Identify and practice alternative methods of dealing with difficult emotions.
  • Be accepting of the recovering process. It will take time. Don’t try to rush it.
  • Be sure to talk about other things! Mental health should not be the focus of every conversation.
  • Again…always keep supporting, listening, and not judging.

If you experience suicidal thoughts, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

For those of you who are suffering and feeling as if you are alone, you are far from alone. You are loved and understood by many. Reach out – for yourself or someone you love – and find those many who can help through to a brighter tomorrow.

Because…you are loved and you matter.

☆¨¯`*★

Join YA Authors and Book Bloggers as we unit for World Suicide Prevention Day

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Until next time, keep your thoughts positive and magical!

☆¨¯`*★

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