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Mental Health. What is it?

by John 5 months ago in coping
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This is a very sensitive subject for a lot of people so tread carefully.

Mental Health. What is it?
Photo by Total Shape on Unsplash

This is a very sensitive subject for a lot of people including myself. Mental health is super important when it comes to living life to the fullest. For me to be writing about it today speaks volumes to the fact that there is hope for you and others that may also be effected by mental health illness as well. I am writing this story purely from my own perspective based on my own life events. There may be things that are hard to read or even imagine during this story. I don’t want that to alarm you but rather educate you. There is a variety of things that can be going through anyone's mind at any given time, you add mental health illness into the equation and the mind starts to become clouded and misguided. This results in people making poor decisions and being influenced to act in such a way that could be frowned upon.

It’s not always easy to fake it. Some people are able to mask it and hide the illness well. Truth is they are typically not okay and some of them are actually the ones that are dealing with the most and need the most support. Do you noticed I decided to use the word support and not help. Help is when you are saving someone from drowning or helping someone change a tire. Usually help is a one time occurrence. Support is when you are there for someone on numerous occasions, when you repeatedly show up to “help” with something. With mental health its typically not a one time occurrence that comes and goes. The illness tends to be long term and a lot of times possibly an individual's whole life.

his is where it gets semi-personal for me. Mental health illness is easy to be misdiagnosed. I have been told at a young age that I suffer from anxiety per the licensed medical professional that diagnosed me. Really Doctor, anxiety/depression at age 15–16? Doctor to me: “Here is some happy pills” (not in those exact words obviously) But how, most would ask considering the young age. Was I always this way? Well going back to an even younger age I can still remember events, smells, tastes and 4k like images of things I seen as a child that I will never forget until my memories are no more. The prescriptions for the mood and thought altering pills didn't last long as it made me numb to everything and I couldn't feel anything. So I decided to deal with the problems organically.

By Fernando @cferdo on Unsplash

There are so many things that I could list such as being abused and beaten and remembering the iron taste on my own blood flowing from my head before ultimately passing out from the blow to the head by a cordless house phone. There was another time I watched my mom be physically and verbally abused my a male that was a lot bigger than her and as much as I tried to help I couldn't but instead had to endure the sharp cries my younger sister was shouting out next to me in fear of seeing the same thing I was as my mother was being choked unconscious right in front of us. I could go on as there are many events and things that took place in my life but I mention these scenarios for a reason.

Now that you have an idea of what I witnessed and dealt with a young age lets get into how this applies. As far as I can remember back clearly I was roughly between 4–6 years old when these occurrences and unfortunate events started. So as you have likely gathered by now the things witnessed at a young age have imprinted on me during the years that my brain was growing and developing. So for me specifically not only is my brain and emotions growing and learning but also trying to get a sense of what is happening around me and what is normal and what is not and how I should proceed. It’s almost like I was put at a disadvantage from the start. I knew I was different than other kids, I knew that after school we went “home” to very different worlds. As I got older and fast forwarding to even present day I am a very different than others and I know my brain definitely works differently.

By Nicholas Kusuma on Unsplash

I was angry for a long time and quite honestly I still have episodes and resentment that occasionally make their way to the surface to remind me those thoughts still exist. I have done a pretty good job of packing those feelings way deep down. I also wear a smile when behind it there is someone else that is not smiling. Over the last year or two I have have been having a harder time dealing with the anxiety. There has been times where I get to a point where its out of my control and its not something you can just “deal” with and you cant always feel it coming on. Over the years though I have been learning from research and others stories about how the chemical imbalance effects everyone differently and the way to recognize and deal with it.

I have recently found reaching out to people who may be dealing with similar issues and listening to them and being a form of support helps me with my illness. I have tried breathing techniques, meditation, medication and others things to help but I have recently noticed that talking with someone through a dark time for them brings a form of joy to me and helps reassure me that I am not alone. Maybe there is a future in mental health support or counseling for me. Do I believe that happiness and mental health is a choice? Partially, however I know from experience that you can choose to ask for help or not and most times those suffering will not ask. So I encourage you to take the time and if you sense something is wrong or someone is possibly dealing with something just check in as a friend. Sometimes all it take its a conversation to support someone and it could mean more to them than they would ever say. Choose happiness, choose to engage, be supportive and provide support to others. You never know, you could save a life.

-Johnathon

coping

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