This is going to be one of those posts that only someone with a mental health problem will relate to, but it is also something people should be aware of. While some of the things I am about to say will be seen as controversial they are little more than my own thoughts, opinions and personal observations relating to mental health and the services on offer…
Mental Health Problems Are Invisible
I think just about anyone and everyone who suffers from mental health problem no matter where they are in the world will relate to this. If you have a broken leg people can see you are in pain and will feel more sympathetic towards you. But a mental health problem can’t be seen and what is why a lot of people will suffer in silence with them.
This is something I still hate about having BPD, it is the fact that you will never truly get over most mental health problems. You just learn to live with them rather than curing them. While obviously not all physical problems can be cured many can, but with mental health, most people will never fully get over it.
While I can’t speak for the rest of the world I am pretty sure most people will agree it is the same where they live. Here in the UK mental health services are simply appaling with many of them simply not existing outside of the charity services! If you want help you have to do all the research and reaching out yourself rather than having it easily accessible. I would like to think one day this will change, but I can’t see it happening for a very long time. If the mental health services are better where you live I would love to hear from you.
If you’ve broken your arm or suffered some sort of physical injury people will often relate to that injury and will often regale you of tales of their own injuries and how they felt. Sadly people often don’t understand the problems you are having with a mental health condition and will often tell you to “get over it” and if I have heard that once, I have heard it a thousand times.
While I don’t need financial support myself thanks to my blogs I do know people with mental health problems often struggle to gain access to it because it is not seen as something that can stop you going out and getting a job or if you already have a job there is no reason for you to stop working. This is simply rubbish, someone suffering a bad day will struggle mentally to survive the day let alone think about going to work or looking for work! In fact, there have been many cases where this “pushing” of people going back to work or looking for work has caused them to commit suicide! This is something that desperately needs to improve, but much like the support for mental health, there is little chance of it happening.
This is not just something relating to the NHS here in the UK, all other the world people will often have to pay for their own therapist and medication just to keep going on in life, when someone suffering from a bad back or muscle injury will have all the support and help they need to get on with their lives. Sadly some people will suffer from mental health problems for the rest of their lives than that can add up significantly.
If you go see a GP (local doctor) with a physical condition they will often know what things to offer you to get you cured or fixed as soon as possible. Sadly that can’t be said with mental health trailing as local doctors will often have no idea what to say to you or to offer you, often leading them to flob you off with prescription drugs just to get rid of you! I’m sorry if that is not your own observations, but it was mine.
Friends and Family
When you have a physical illness or injury friends and family will often be a lot more supportive and understanding often trying to make you feel better. But sadly that is not necessarily true with a mental health illness. Often they will not believe it and sometimes the classic “man up” or “snap out of it” will slip out of their lips. Do people with physical illness get those same sarky lines? No.
When it comes to mental health there are no one-cure fits all as everyone is different and everyone suffers differently which means even when you are getting the help you need it doesn’t mean you will be cured. While I do agree this can also happen with physical illnesses it happens much more often with mental ones.
If you see someone on crutches or with a broken leg you might approach that person as ask what is wrong with them! Why do you do this? Because you can see the person is in pain and want to make them feel better. Someone with an anxiety problem or suffering from severe depression could be sat right next to you and you might never know! So maybe ask your friends, neighbours and work colleagues how they are feeling and make your awareness of mental health a little more vocal.
Hello, I just saw you started following me. I am not sure why, but thank you……I’ve not been on here long.
Good post here about mental health.
I have to agree with what you’ve said.
I am also from UK.
I also suffer from BPD, aswell as other mood disorders, and completely agree with mental health services being appalling over here.
There are no longer services available especially within the NHS. If you want therapy, you end up having to go private. And it is expensive.
You are more or less left on your own when it comes to mental health.
I am trying to spread awareness about BPD and what it’s like to live with through my blog, aswell as my own healing journey, because there is such a lot of misunderstanding and stigma attached to Borderline Personality Disorder aswell as other disorders.
I am hoping something good can come from all the pain I have had throughout my life and continue to feel with this illness.
The truth is, unless mental health affects someone close to them, or themselves, people are not that bothered about it. Once it affects them or their loved ones, they will then look into it and research the hell out of it because then their perspective changes.
In a sense I wish I could go around in a wheelchair, with all my limbs in casts, and bandages around my body and head, because then people would actually notice.
There are many invisible illnesses nowadays, not just mental health ones, and we no longer can just go by what we simply just “see” anymore. We have to look beyond that. We have to use perception and when it comes to mental health, it is not always immediately obvious. But if you know what to look for, and can look beneath a surface or exterior of a person, then you will find many people are broken individuals, just surviving rather than living.
I am sorry my comment is so long….
I hope it makes sense….
I will follow you if that’s OK…
I followed you because you are a fellow “evolved broken” soul. Sadly for us here in the UK there are not a lot of options and we have to help ourselves 99% of the time. If you ever need to talk about anything just drop me an email: email@example.com
Thank you that’s kind, and appreciate that.
Same to you too….my email is within my contact details.
“The broken are more evolved.”
Your post is so relevant to those suffering in silence. Their pain is hidden because it makes those encountering their despair feel uncomfortable. We don’t mean to be unkind; often embarrassment will stop us lending that all important sympathetic ear, but you are right – we need to listen and look for those tell-tale signs of a great need that is crying to be heard.
My late husband was a doctor of the ‘old’ school who believed, and told his students: ” 95% of your diagnosis can be made with accuracy if you spend time listening to what your patient is telling you in those all important first minutes of a consultation.”
Would that modern medicine believed the same – instead we are already on the road to face to face interviews via the internet; triage nurses and over-the-phone chats with the practice receptionist. Most definitely not the best way forward, but very much the prospect for the future.
It is the curse of mental health in today’s world. We suffer in silence, suffer trying to get help then suffer a little more when we do get help. The worse thing for me is the “printed out” advice to follow along with. If I wanted to read about self-help I would have gone online! …don’t get me started. LOL.
I can help but don’t know how without hurting myself