Mental as anything

So there I was browsing Twitter this morning when a tweet from STV News caught my eye. “MORE THAN 800, 000 SCOTS ADULTS DON’T KNOW HOW TO GET MENTAL HEALTH HELP” the headline. Really? Cannae be true. Sadly it is.

http://m.stv.tv/news/scotland/100391-more-than-800000-scots-adults-do-not-how-to-get-help-for-mental-health/

So there you have it. Startling statistics don’t you think? 1 in 4 adults will suffer from mental health problems in their life but still – STILL – there is huge stigma attached to the illness. But why?? Let’s say I have a sore tooth. I’d go to the dentist. I’m currently on a waiting list to receive an MRI scan for a dodgy knee I’ve had for years. Nobby Stiles bothering me? Off to the docs for a good ole check up.

BUT!!! Feeling a tad down? Having deeply disturbing thoughts about damaging yourself? Weepy? Anxious? Angry? Can’t be arsed with anything or anyone? All of the above?

THEN DON’T BE SO FUCKING STUPID AND SORT YOURSELF OUT YOU ARSEHOLE!! DON’T YOU KNOW THIS IS ALL IN YOUR HEAD?? PULL YOURSELF TOGETHER!! GIVE YOURSELF A SHAKE, FOR GOD’S SAKE! YER A MAN, FUCKING MAN UP THEN!! STOP LOOKING FOR ATTENTION YOU PATHETIC LAYABOUT!! THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH YOU, ALL YOU NEED IS A GOOD NIGHT OUT WITH THE BOYS!! TAKE A DRINK FOR FUCK’S SAKE! ANTI-DEPRESSANTS? OCH YOU DON’T NEED THESE, THEY’LL JUST MAKE YOU WORSE!! AW MAN YOU DON’T WANT TO TALK ABOUT FEELINGS DO YOU??

Sound familiar? Why is it so hard for some people to understand mental illness? If I had a skin complaint, no-one would feel uncomfortable discussing what cream I had to slegger on every night. Bloody hell, if I had a problem with my cock it would be easier to discuss with most people rather than depression. Wooooof, don’t go there, *whispers* “he’s got…….depression”. If so many of us suffer from it then how can it be so difficult to get help?

Yes that’s right, I said US. Me as in ME.

A decade ago I suffered quite badly from depression. I don’t know what started it or why it happened, it just did. Started feeling down, got worse, got really worse, drank like fuck to numb the pain, cried myself to sleep, was horrible to people, slept a lot, didn’t want to do anything or see anyone. Got REALLY worse. Cut myself, all up both arms with a Mach 3 blade on 3 occasions. Don’t know why but I can tell you one thing, if felt RIGHT at the time but straight afterwards a hated myself and wanted to claw my arms off, to turn back time, to do anything that would take these awful, bleeding messy arms away from me. Still did it again though, didn’t I?

Eventually I broke down, drunk and in tears and told my parents. They were amazing, out of this world. Told the rest of my family, support all the way. Told my friends how i was and that I needed to stop drinking. Got the correct response. “Ha ha ya fuckin stupid mental sober boring bastard!!!” I love my friends, I really do.

So, with all the support, I got better. My work didn’t help as I was working for a total bell end but that didn’t stop my recovery. I went on medication and I received counselling. I wasn’t very keen on it and I don’t think it helped very much but by that point I was on the up.

So what about since then? Looking back over the past couple of years, especially after what we’ve been through (another story for another day), I’m amazed I’m not in Arkham Asylum. Yes, I’ve had my moments, and yes I’ve been down, way down, but I’m managing my mental health. If I was to feel that I needed help, now that I’ve been at the bottom, I would know the symptoms and get help. I’m also married to the most incredible, tolerant and patient woman. She knows how to treat me and although most times we don’t directly talk about it, I know she’s looking after me. Plus she would kick my arse all the way up to the doctors if she wanted me to, and she would be right, she usually is. And it works both ways, she went through the awful period in the past few years too, I’m looking out for her also. I’m currently in a good place. I am happy and i am content. I love my wife, I love my kids and I love my job. Life is good. But I’ll always be wary of how I feel.

So I guess the point of this was to say – I’ve had mental health problems, I’ve suffered from depression, I’ve been there, I’m NOT afraid to talk about it and I want more people to be honest and open. Say it with me – “I’ve suffered from mental health issues and I’m not scared to talk about it” Say it louder “I’VE SUFFERED FROM MENTAL HEALTH ISSUES AND I’M NOT SCARED TO TALK ABOUT IT!!!” Feels good, doesn’t it? It is NOTHING to be embarrassed about or ashamed of, there’s lots of us who suffer with you.

800,000 people in this beautiful country of ours have trouble seeking help with their problems, please don’t become the 800,001st. We are all with you. We are all together. We are all suffering, please come forward and ask for help. You maybe young and don’t understand what’s going on, come forward and talk about it. You maybe a young man and that’s not what young men go through. “Only fucking arseholes admit defeat, I’ll sort myself out”. Naw son, this isn’t the American wrestling, this is the real world and young men are killing themselves. They are killing themselves for no reason other than they cannot handle the thoughts inside their heads and suicide is the only way out. It isn’t. All of us have a duty to look after each other, even you, yes you, who think that this blog post is just attention seeking. You are wrong, so wrong. I don’t want to be ill. I don’t want anyone else to be ill. I only wish everyone understood.

If you are, or know someone who that could be depressed, please get help for yourself or for them. Life is too precious to throw it away.

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