How many times a day do people ask you if you’re OK and vice versa? Do you ever really pay attention to the responses you get or feel that you can actually give an honest answer yourself? Asking if somebody else is OK has become a regular greeting, and we say it without even thinking. It’s an introductory phrase or a pleasantry we use in passing without even thinking about it. The worry is that this means that most of us never even think to tell people that actually, we’re not OK. Have you ever wanted to give an honest answer, and tell a friend that far from being OK, you’ve got a lot a lot on your plate, and you’re really struggling? If so, it’s time to change the way you think about mental health, and be more honest and open.
Tackling mental health issues
We all have times when it’s harder to get up in the mornings than others. We have days when we feel low, and we struggle to find the motivation to go to work or find the energy to play with the kids. This is normal, it happens to us all. What’s not normal is feeling like this all the time. Sustained periods of feeling low can indicate depression. Many people assume that depression is a state of mind that people can simply shake off. But that’s not the case. If you suffer from depression, you’ll know all too well that it’s not something you can just ignore and try and get on with it. It’s an illness, which needs careful management.
With physical illnesses, it’s usually easy to notice symptoms. If you’ve sprained your ankle, you’ll see a big lump, and your ankle will swell. If you suffer from migraines, you’ll experience severe headaches on a regular basis. If you’ve got flu, you’ll have a runny nose, a sore throat, and fever. With psychological illness, it’s harder to pinpoint the signs and to know when there is a problem.
If you have noticed changes in your mood or you just don’t feel yourself, it’s a good idea to seek help. Do you feel sad or irritable? Are you feeling anxious all the time or has stress got the better of you? Are you behaving differently or finding it hard to control and manage your emotions? If you are, there’s absolutely no shame in asking for help or even just getting some advice from somebody who has expertise in mental health issues. It can be very hard to talk to people about mental health. There’s a stigma attached to illnesses like depression, and some people find it very hard to understand how if affects you, and why you can’t simply shrug it off. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to a friend or your partner, there are other options. You can use services like Babylon to chat to a trained doctor online, or you could consider seeing a therapist or a counselor. Often, talking about your problems can provide clarity.
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Health is not just about your body. It’s also about your mind. If you’re struggling, the sooner you learn that it’s OK to say that you’re not OK, the better.