Personal: World Mental Health Day


10/10/2015



Today is #WorldMentalHealthDay and I'm sure many of you already know that this subject is very close to my heart. I have suffered from depression and anxiety ever since I can remember, I have been professionally diagnosed by my GP and treated for it over the years. I have found counselling along with self-care to be the best form of treatment for me, personally. As some of you may know already, I have always been very open about my personal experiences, however, I think when I was younger I was probably a little bit too open online. As I get older, I understand the importance of being more selective with what I choose to share, so these days I only share really personal information if it feels really important.

I was scared to write this blog post, but in the same way, I was also scared to share my cervical cancer diagnosis a few weeks ago and that turned out to be absolutely one of the best decisions I could have made. So many of you got back to me about it and it feels incredible to have reached out to so many people. I couldn't believe how many of you were going through similar experiences. I feel the same way about spreading mental health awareness, it's very personal to me but I know that so many people are going through something similar and it's good to know we're all in this together. Many of you have commented on my social media pages about how brave I have been through my treatment, but honestly, I've become very good at covering up how I feel and I would be lying if I said I wasn't completely terrified the entire time. I didn't feel brave at all. Some days I would read your comments and feel like a fraud, however, the love and support I received is what helped me face it head on – so thank you you all so very much.

To be honest, these past few years for me have been plagued with anxiety and depression. I shared my experience of living with chronic pain on the blog a few months ago, so some of you may know this already. It has been a very overwhelming, distressing, confusing, mentally and physically draining journey for me. It's easy to cover up how you feel on the internet, and there's nothing wrong with projecting an online “persona” as such. However, I think it's important to take days like World Mental Health Day and use them to share what's really going on behind the scenes. This might seem like too much information for some people, but I personally feel a great deal of admiration for others who share their stories. I know it helps me and I hope I can help you too. I think it's necessary for us to continue to talk about this topic because too often it is just swept under the carpet.

My anxiety has been over another level recently and I'm determined to get extra for help it and work on feeling like “me” again. I know by allowing others in and by opening up about my own struggles and experiences, I will continue to feel better and hopefully help others too.  Remember that you are not alone and we are all a whole lot stronger than we think. It's incredibly important to talk to people and support each other, no matter what. You can even talk to me if you want to. Let's help break down the stigma that surrounds this topic and remember that mental illness doesn't define us.

xo Karen

1 comment

  1. Thank you for sharing your experiences, I know it's helped me. I can recall a time where I was physically sick when it came to trying anything new, although there's definitely something comforting about the norm... and I'm very slow to step out of my comfort zone as it is. Mental Health Day has been a real eye opener, especially when it comes to those in the blogging community experiencing the same thing x

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