It was a long summer and I never put an update to say we got back to our offices in Douglas Street a few months ago. Things have been so busy around here that I never had a chance to update. But anyway, I digress…
As I was catching up on the news yesterday, there was an article that caught my attention about Ariana Grande (yep, huge fan).
In an interview with the BBC, she stated her anxiety made her feel guilty. She was quoted as saying, “I almost feel guilty that I have it [anxiety] because it’s just in your head and it’s just so crazy how powerful it is.
You have ups and downs and sometimes you’ll go weeks at a time where you will be crushing it and there will be no anxiety…and then something will happen that can trigger it and then you have a couple of down days.”
Why the Guilt?
I wish I could say this feeling of guilt was rare. But I have found people often admit they feel guilty for having mental health issues. I have friends who suffer with depression say things like “Oh, I know I have no right to feel this way”, and will then talk about all the good things in their life. And while I am glad they see the good in their lives.
It makes me sad that there can be a feeling of guilt when talking about your mental health. As I never hear people express guilt when facing other health issues. As Ariana (yep, first name basis now) has pointed out, it is “crazy how powerful it is”. It can sometimes feel unbearable and impossible to see past.
But there is always a way past whatever struggles you are facing. I can promise you that.
What does Ariana say?
‘Time goes by and I can’t control my mind Don’t know what else to try, but you tell me every time/Just keep breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’ and breathin’‘.
Some lyrics from her song, aptly named ‘breathin’ and here is a link if you want to check out the full thing, I recommend it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QTPW_cIYp9o&list=OLAK5uy_kvi6xfWSkfUFjGtPHjvxuOcNsdnIlSUr8&index=9
Things I have learnt about mental health
In the 3 and a half years I have worked here, I have learned many things. But I am going to share with you the most important things I have learned about mental health:
- That like any health issue, mental health does not discriminate. It can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or no matter how perfect their life seems. Facebook lies – we only see the carefully curated image of what people want to present to others.
- That those who struggle, can hide it from everyone, even the ones they love the most. And that a lot of people would be surprised to learn what their friends and family struggle with daily.
- Everyone will struggle with a mental health issue at some point in their life. It may not be extreme. It may not be something that absorbs your attention completely. But I think it is impossible to not go through life
without an issue. I wish it was possible, but again it is like any health issue.
- And not to sound cheesy, but I have seen the help talking therapy can provide. How much a person can learn about themselves and change what feels like hopelessness into hope. That is one of the best things about working here.
2 things to know before starting talking therapy
For someone looking for help with any mental health issue, 2 bits of advice:
- There are different modalities of talking therapy out there. I personally (and a wee bit biased) prefer CBT.
I like learning the tools and techniques to empower the client to be able to become their own therapist. A lot of very helpful worksheets pass by my desk. Especially the unhelpful thinking styles (I think it is impossible not to be guilty of a few…or all). But if CBT isn’t for you, there is one that will suit you. Everyone is different and that’s what makes the world interesting (nod to a certain wise therapist/boss).
- And the most important thing that you need when engaging in therapy is a good relationship with your therapist.
If you don’t feel comfortable, or even if there is no reason, you just feel that you don’t work with your therapist – find a new one. Please. Don’t worry about hurting feelings, or that it is something wrong with you, or that therapy doesn’t work for you. In life we sometimes don’t click with people and it is not anyone’s fault, it just happens. Therapists, would rather you find someone who you have a good working relationship with so you can get the help you need. Trust me. And sometimes the most experienced and or accredited therapist may not be right for you. It may be the student who is retraining from being a hairdresser. Another thing that makes the world interesting.
To end this post I am recommending another song that deals with mental health and how it feels and most importantly to never give up despite how overwhelming it can all feel – the wonderful Shawn Mendes and ‘In My Blood’ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=36tggrpRoTI