Sunday, 20 May 2018

GUEST POST by Jodie for Mental Health Awareness Week

Mental health is not a joke. It isn't something you can pick up and drop like a toy. Mental health is serious, people die from having mental health illnesses, suicide as the cause of death and many people die from eating disorders. Mental health is not a phase that someone will simply 'grow out of' it is not attention seeking nor is it fashionable. You can't just 'snap out of it'. Wouldn't life be so much easier if people could do that? 

I have suffered from mental health myself since I was younger. The past 11years have been horrendous in and out of hospital admissions and under the care of child and adolescent mental health workers then transferred to adult mental health workers. The past 6 years I have spent under a section 3 in hospital. Which means I have to stay in hospital against my will for treatment. Over the past 11 years I have had many mental health illnesses such as anorexia nervosa, anxiety disorders and psychosis. I have more diagnosis' now. Spending time in hospital can be and is very hard to be away from my family and friends for such long periods of time. 

I have experienced the worst (of mine) mental health and have seen the worst in other service users. It can be a very scary situation to be in, not knowing what could happen next. As is with anything in life mental health has its ups and downs, you could say it's like riding an emotional roller coaster. Mental health is so difficult for some to understand and some are even scared to know about it. Together we need to make this invisible illness seen. Mental health isn't all about feeling sad and self-harming, yes those are aspects sadly do exist but it is so much more than that. I have had friends walk away because of me being unwell and I still don't know why. I'm not angry at them though. I have made some incredible friends, true friends in my time in hospital that I shall cherish forever. 

Life on the ward is pretty hectic at times. I have seen life threatening self-harm and have lost family and friends to suicide. It's a long road to recovery, each person is so individual it may take one person 3 months to recover others it could take years. It isn't as easy as 'just get out of there' or 'snap out of it' I wish it was. If that was the case nobody would be ill. 

On my bad days which are often I wish I wasn't alive but on my good days I see a bright future. My thoughts are with those struggling in the community. I know from experience the mental health teams and crisis team aren't very good. Which leaves patients and carers with no hope. 

I hope people who read this gain some hope as I can honestly say things do get better. Yeah you will make it through. Recovery is possible. As I always say "this too shall pass".

Thank you for reading this. To anyone suffering and carers too there is a light at the end of the tunnel. There is help out there and you are not alone.