Janey Says: Let’s Support Mental Illness ALWAYS

I think it’s wonderful that mental health is so much in the public domain these days.  People are being made aware of the issues affecting so many, young and old, and how lives are being destroyed as a result.

depresseed young woman

Not just the victims;  but family and friends also.   No one escapes the fall out of a valued person being persecuted by their mind; the tragedy is that along with each individual’s suffering, they also have to contend with the knowledge of what their condition is doing to their loved ones and the ensuing guilt.

Back in the day, the English had a reputation of having a stiff upper lip. Never show fear or emotion. Keep yourself to yourself…buttoned up!

We blame public schools for this ethos – but actually, it was carried across all classes.   Some of those most affected by insecurity, fear, anger,  and as a result depression, are from humble backgrounds where a stick was the best way to get a child’s attention.

Surely the days of hearing such helpful gems of wisdom as ‘pull yourself together’ are over?

Never encouraged to think for themselves, but only to do as they were told. No life choices and trapped in the daily grind of poverty.

I was pleased therefore to hear that the study of antidepressants showed that they do have a positive effect on mental health.  All the nay sayers and sceptics are proven wrong thank goodness – and I really hope they sit up and listen!

I know of several people who wish the findings had been different, after spending years spouting rubbish about them and those who suffer, telling them how ‘silly’ they’re being and to get a grip!

Surely the days of hearing such helpful gems of wisdom as ‘pull yourself together’, ‘these are women’s problems’,  ‘too much time on your hands’, ‘you need something real to worry about’, or ‘you clearly have it too easy’, are over – or I really hoped they were.

Listening to a middle-aged man on the news tonight talking about how he suffered as a result of coming clean about his mental concerns to his friends showed that there’s still a very long way to go to beat the stigma of mental health issues. He was called a ‘nut nut’ and made to feel ashamed – and certainly regret mentioning his issues to his so-called friends.

THIS is madness. THIS is insane.  Peoples ignorance of what’s going on around them is one thing but their lack of acceptance that it exists is unforgivable.

So well done the BBC for the superb programme ‘Girls on the Edge’  on BBC 2.

It was a sensitive insight into the lives of three girls under eighteen and how they had been affected by their mental health.

Much of this will, and maybe should be blamed on social media and the pressure from bullying and feeling victimised as a result.  This, however, cannot be the reason for the aforementioned middle-aged man – that was pure ignorance.

I really pray I see the day when all forms of mental illness are accepted and catered for and those of us lucky to be well stand up for those in need rather than making them feel outsiders.

When we can all feel empowered to stand up to the rather yobbish culture of ridicule will those sad souls get the help and eventual peace and happiness that is our right?

After all, let’s remember the statistics:

1 in 3 of us suffers from a mental illness in our lifetime (and the rest live with those who do so it touches all of us)

The highest rate of suicide in the UK is from men in their 40s – up to five times higher than that of women.

The rate of teens with depression has risen to nearly 13%.  The far greater percentage of this is reported as females, because young men don’t speak out as easily – not because they’re not also experiencing it.

Stress and Depression account for up to 40% of all UK sick days, that’s 12.5 millions workdays lost to mental health issues.

So before you put someone down for their health concerns, remember this.  If it’s not you going through it now, there’s no guarantee it won’t be in the future.  And if not you, your child, parent or loved one. It doesn’t matter if you’re rich or poor, old or young. It doesn’t discriminate.   How would YOU want to be treated?

If you are affected by depression there are people who can help.  Numbers are available here.



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