Mental Health Awareness | Breaking the Taboo
Updated: Oct 26, 2018
After just 24 hours of having my blog online, I had several messages from people telling me that they could relate to my first post and that they also wanted to ‘make a choice’ to take charge of their lives. Having this feedback from friends and readers was one of the main reasons I began the blog in the first place. To show others out there that so many of us suffer from mental health problems and that we don’t need to suffer in silence.
Sometimes when you are going through something terrible, or you are having distressing thoughts and worries it is often hard to see that other people have these similar problems too. When I went to my first group anxiety workshop, I remember messaging my boyfriend before and saying something along the lines of…
“I am going, but I am not saying a word! I swear to you, I am not opening my mouth!”
NEXT MINUTE …
I’m 15 minutes into my first workshop, listening to other people speak about their anxiety, their stresses and their worries, and I’m finding I’m not only nodding in agreement, but I’m basically shouting out “here, here” when I can relate to their stories. So quickly there was a buzz in the room when everyone realised we were all there for the same reason.
In my head I laughed about the lie I told my boyfriend before going into the workshop, and I raised my hand in the group, feeling nervous but liberated. The leader acknowledged me and asked what I had to say. The first thing I said in my group therapy session was:
“I am so happy to hear that people have the same problems as me!”
… a strange thing to be “happy” about… but a very true statement indeed. I instantly received an agreement from the room. After that point, you really couldn’t shut me up if you tried! I had always thought group therapy was a way for the NHS to “bulk treat” their patients, but now I had a better understanding of why it is so beneficial. I realised why I was there in a group, and not just a one-on-one session.
Last week was Mental Health Awareness Week in the UK. In a way, I can see Mental Health Awareness Week as being a big group therapy session for the whole of Britain! People are sharing their stories, experiences and solutions. And others are listening, relating and understanding that they are not alone.
Breaking The Mental Health Taboo