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Let’s talk about our mental health…

Let’s talk about our mental health…

Did you know about 25% of the UK population will experience some kind of mental health problem this year – it most likely to be a combination of anxiety or depression.

Statistics also tell us that more women than men are treated for a mental health problem each year.

Does this sound familiar? Yeah I bet it does.

I’d say our chances of falling into that 25% are a good bit higher than the average mum – wouldn’t you?

I want to talk about this because I don’t want you to make the same mistake I did.

Shortly after finding out that our much wanted first born son had special needs and would need life-long care, I began to experience mental health problems.

I know what they are now, at the time I didn’t have a clue what was happening to me.

I HAD to be the strong one, I had to answer everyone’s questions, reassure everyone that it would be OK, that we would cope – so outwardly I think I put on a pretty good front.

No one ever asked if I was OK, so I’m assuming I did a good job at pretending. Inside, I wasn’t doing just as well.

I felt like a horrendous weight was dragging me down, I was constantly fighting through a thick cloud of fog – even the simplest of tasks felt like I was climbing mountain.

I think I spent more time crying than not.

I stopped going out, I stopped seeing friends and I stopped doing the things I enjoyed.

But I absolutely did not need any help. Asking for help would be a sign of weakness, taking medication would be a sign that I was not coping, I was sure no one would want to listen to how I was feeling.

In hindsight, now I’m in a brighter and better place, I wish I could give my old self a good shake.

I recently hurt my back, I immediately went to my GP, started a course of anti-inflammatory medication and spent a small fortune on physiotherapy treatment.

However, when it came to my mental health why did I think seeking the same help would be a sign of weakness?

Please don’t make the same mistake I did.

I managed to climb out of a deep dark hole very slowly, but it took far longer than it should have.

How much time did I waste by not asking for help?

I’ll never know now, but what I do know is that if I should ever feel myself sinking into that place again, I will most definitely be asking for help.

Time to Talk is urging us all to Take 5. http://www.time-to-change.org.uk/timetotalkday

Take 5 with a friend to find out how they’re doing, watch and share their film or have a conversation online – these are all small things you can do to make a big difference. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5EvbjiaCcw&feature=youtu.be

Why not introduce yourself in the Firefly Garden, you’ll find a supportive group of parents, therapists and carers. It could be the start of a better and brighter future for you too. http://community.fireflyfriends.com/community/viewthread/122/

Firefly Blog

Real life stories, issues and experiences of day to day life by special needs parents and
healthcare professionals.

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For Firefly, life is all about experiences and being face to face with friends and loved ones. By enhancing the child's perspective and giving them the tools to 'join in', the child not only has the opportunity to participate, but can also be at the heart of it.

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