It seems to be a common misunderstanding that only some of us suffer with our Mental Health, the truth is; we all suffer with our Mental Health at some point in our lives. There are just some people who battle with Mental Illnesses and Disorders on top of that.
Stress is probably one of the most common causes of Mental Illness (don’t quote me on that but I’ve definitely read it somewhere..), and I challenge you to find any normal, functioning human being (whatever THAT is?!) who has never dealt with stress in their life. And shock horror; stress IS a mental health problem!
Our minds are not equipped to deal with the modern world and the everyday stresses it provides, and that is why there is such a vast majority of people who do struggle.
And, if you think that Mental Health is not an issue that needs to be taken seriously, please try and digest these stats, from the Mental Health Foundation.
In 2013, 6,188 suicides were recorded in the UK alone. (Theoretically that’s nearly 17 people every day!) Of these, 75% were Male and 25% were Female.
Between 2003 and 2013, 18,220 people with Mental Health problems took their own life in the UK.
Suicide is the most common cause of death for men aged 20-49 years in England & Wales.
In 2013, there were 8.2 million cases of anxiety in the UK.
Mixed Anxiety & Depression is the most common Mental Disorder in Britain, with 7.8% of people meeting the criteria for diagnosis.
In 2013, Depression was the second leading cause of years lived with a disability worldwide, behind lower back pain. In 26 countries, depression was the primary driver of disability.
In 2014, 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of Anxiety or Depression (a 1.5% increase from 2013).
Now if those stats don’t shock you (I could write more!), I suggest you read them again. Because they give me serious chills. The wave of devastation caused by Mental Health is unavoidable and yet it doesn’t nearly tally up to the importance of physical health right now. (And, I’m just going to say now, I’d rather have 2 broken legs than my Mental Health problems.)
So why are people ignoring it? I think mostly because they believe it’s not as bad as people make it out to be, or that it just simply doesn’t affect them. But, I wonder how many people cover up their Mental Health problems, ignoring the fact they are Mental Health problems because they’re minor, and just continue rather than listening to their minds? I bet it’s a lot!
Somehow ‘Mental Health’ became a dirty phrase and people don’t like to admit they struggle, so they ignore it. And eventually with some, something breaks and they come crashing down and are left with no other option but to be absorbed by their Mental Health.
It’s like any illness, if you don’t look after yourself it will only get worse. Got the flu? Rest. Have a sickness bug? Rest. Feeling stressed? ‘Get on with it’.
Please if you’re ever feeling stressed, allow yourself to listen to your mind and what’s causing you to feel that way. Combat it, allow yourself time for self-care, have a lazy day, talk to somebody, do SOMETHING – just don’t ignore it, it could be a big mistake and cause you more problems in the future!