I write about my mental health a lot. (I think you might have noticed.) But why?
For those who don’t know, I was brought up in Bermuda – I lived there until I was 18. Bermuda is a very conservative place. (It was recently in the news for being the first country to repeal gay marriage. Yaaaaaay.) You don’t talk about mental health in Bermuda. Going to a therapist and being on antidepressants or similar medications is taboo. Me telling my friends that I was seeing a therapist was the height of our friendship and my trust.
When I moved to the UK to go to university, I was shocked to see how open people were about their mental health. I had a group of friends who completely understood what was going on, and empathised with me, and were willing to talk about it with me. I had a bit of a revolutionary moment in my first year of university, when I realised that I could talk about my thoughts and feelings about mental health without worrying. (I realise that this is a very privileged position to be in – I happen to go to a very liberal university, and my friend group is universally amazing). I do worry, sometimes, that potential employers will look through my blog and go “oh my God, she’s insane”. However, I think the benefits of getting the catharsis of writing about mental health far outweigh any potential risks. Since starting my #mentalhealthmonday posts, I’ve found myself looking forward to talking about my mental health, no matter how painful or personal the posts might be.
So, for the purposes of being honest with you all – I’m not doing well. I’ve recently changed to a new SSRI, which is taking its time to kick in. I’m trying to get myself out of the house and into the sunshine, which isn’t always successful. I’m taking one day at a time, and I’m trying out some new mental health apps which may help (I’ll report back). These past few months, and these past few weeks in particular have been really, really hard. But you know what? Talking about it with you all and just getting those words written really does help in a way that I hadn’t expected.
How and where do you talk about your mental health? Do you blog about it, and if so, why?