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.