2 years ago if you had said to me that you or someone you knew had a mental illness, depression, PND, bipolar etc I would have been sympathetic and asked if there was anything I could do to help. I wouldn’t, however, have actually understood exactly what that person was going through, I would not have known how dark some days would be for them or the feeling of no emotions and loneliness. I would also wonder how they could be going around looking quite ‘normal’ or even laughing when they were supposed to be ‘depressed’ and I definitely would not understand how they could not meet up with friends or work colleagues because of it. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) I now know exactly what it is like to be depressed, for people to not actually realise and also not be able to see some people. I know all about the dark days, but I have also had a glimpse at the other side, when it starts to get better and you become stronger for it.
I asked to be a host for Carol from Dance Without Sleeping for the Mental Health Carnival as I want to be involved in helping anyone who is suffering realise they are not alone, but also help those that have been fortunate to not suffer depression and other mental health illnesses to know what it is actually like to experience.
I am really grateful for all the people who have agreed to take part this month, I’m not going to go on and on about each post, I think they all speak for them selves. I hope you find them all really good reading, please try to leave a comment for each person and maybe even pass the posts on to get the message out there about how mental illness really feels.
I have 2 posts here that are about withdrawal from antidepressants, we are told that they are not addictive, I suppose that they are not in the sense that nicotine and other recreational drugs are, but our bodies are addicted to them, Sheila from Prozac Withdrawal and Natasha over at Thats the Baby Game have both given their accounts of what it has been like.
Self Harm is a dirty word, that no one wants to know about, I have been lucky enough to be sent 2 posts from different angles regarding self harm, firstly Aisha from Expatalogue writes about what drove her to actually self harm and Inspector Micheal Brown writes about it from the other side, witnessing people self harming and how to try to deal with it in his blog MentalHealthCop
Postnatal depression (PND) is what brought me to have an understanding of mental illness and these two ladies talk about how it has effected them and how they are moving forward. Marianne from Highly Unlikely Housewife describes how she dealt with PND on her own for many years, but is finally starting to come out the other side. Karen from Discontended Mother explains that she took the brave step of going to her GP and asking for help.
Kate over on Kate on Thin Ice talks about ‘drifting’ through the day, I think many mums will understand how she feels.
Michelle from Mich’s Space writes how her anxiety has affected much of her life, but it seems to have been triggered by the birth of her first child
There is a lot of stigma both towards and by sufferers about mental health, but these three bloggers are trying to help us stop the stigma. Emma from LLM Calling talks about her illness and how she felt when people avoided her. Alica from The Camels Hump talks about how we need to try to cope with the stigma whilst also fighting the stigma. Carol from Dance Without Sleeping highlights one persons battle with trying to de-stigmatise mental health
Joseph Martin from Living Fit, Healthy and Happy writes about how mentally ill people can often struggle with other illnesses due to their low self-esteem, and the struggle to be motivated with life and how we can all play a part in helping those people.
Lisa from Mummy Whisperer Blog writes about her own fight with mental illness and how she has battled it by using alternative methods.
I hope you have enjoyed the varied posts, I am sure there is something here for everyone to relate to.
Carol from Dance without Sleeping is running the Mental Health Carnivals every month, if you would like to get involved or even host one, have a look and see who is hosting the next one.