Everyone has a different definition of mental health, of what it means to them and how it’s brought to their attention. Mind.org reports that one in four of the UK’s population experience bad mental health problems each year; that is one person in your family, one person in your small friendship group, even yourself, your best friend, your mother, your neighbour, even the guy you dislike at work because he acts out for attention (maybe there’s a reason behind that).
The epidemic has sweeped the nation and stolen our personalities. Zombies walking around and ignoring each other because of our own minds. How as people can we care about anything when the future is foggy? Our minds are currently blind and bruised.
Depression can take our behaviours and shape them into something we don’t even recognise, we can lose our hobbies, as well as our ability to create. Not having control over your abilities to complete ‘normal’ tasks causes us to put more pressure on ourselves, making our feelings effectively worse. Isn’t it funny how the same brain that is able to create you can be the same one to tear you down again?
With depression can come anxiety (not always), the anxiousness to leave the house or to make conversation with strangers, to be worrying about your relationships or your job, just to have it take them away anyway. Anxiety can cause insecurity in the wildest form. It can change your confidence and take your ability to think and feel for yourself, causing relationships to suffer in a way you could have never believed possible. For it can hold your life in its crumbling hands and cause you to crumble too.
When anxiety meets a relationship, it can also meet insecurity, causing you to question if anything is real at all. It can break your relationships before they’re fully formed, on the tip before you have that person fully, you thought they were yours but the pain creeps in and steals you both away, it throws you to opposite ends of the world. You could be in the same room, the same bed but still, be a thousand miles apart from each other.
It can seem like the world is yours for a second, like everything is finally right. You’ll be walking down the street listening to your favourite song whilst thinking about the people you love when suddenly the dull feelings will creep back in causing your head to fall to the ground and for you to stomp home as fast as you can, to run to your room, slamming the door behind you whilst crawling into bed and covering yourself with everything that makes you feel safe; the rain pouring on your attic window, hoping it washes all your responsibilities away.
I have seen mental health bring all the aches and pains with it, it isn’t just a case of having sad thoughts or being tired, it can cause the colour to go from your face. The girl known as having that glow can be transformed into a walking illness; with constant headaches teamed with a fuzzy mind. Being unable to think straight or concentrate can affect our work greatly (I have learnt from trying to be a writer). The tension in our bodies can cause pain in our mouths from biting down too hard in a state of anxiety, our backs and shoulders aching from the constant metaphorical weight on their shoulders. We have serotonin in our stomachs, therefore if serotonin is low so is our stomachs’ ability to work, causing pains or problems. Our body reflects our mind, if we tell it we aren’t happy today, our body will probably (definitely) show it.
Your mind can be a pathetic fallacy of what is going on outside it all. It can be impossible to know how to deal with these feelings. To know how to speak about these feelings. To gain the strength to turn to the only person who makes you feel safe and ask them not to leave you.
The truth is it is hard, life is fucking hard and it’s very important to feel everything and nothing and everything again. You might believe you feel everything too deeply and punish yourself for it (like me) but isn’t it better to live and to feel every fucking fibre of every bit of your being? At the end of it all, you can say you got through it. There’s nothing better than making it through.
Bad mental health can mean you’ll one day you could be screaming on a bathroom floor telling your best friend you want to die but then months later you could be driving along in the passenger seat of her car and screaming with the same voice you uttered those dangerous words with. You’ll be screaming along to a song you both claim to hate (love) and at that moment you will be so happy, the sun is setting, and you feel loved. As many lyricists have said over the years “love is all you need.”
Those moments are when the suffering sometimes seems worth it. Not that I am saying mental health is worth the pain, but it can definitely make you appreciate the small things. It will teach you to learn people’s mannerisms, to notice the way they smile and how they talk because you care so much that they stayed in your life even when you wasn’t yourself.