What Mental Health Sigma Sounds Like

You know when you were a kid or even an adult and you play the game of living on a deserted island? For a moment you actually think about what it is like to live in a place where you are completely alone.

A bit like Castaway with Tom Hanks. I really felt the emotion behind his attachment with his made-up friend.

Now can you imagine, living each day on an internal island, where you feel so alone! I think that is what hurt the most when I was really ill. I was in so much pain, and I felt that I had no one to turn too, no one to just wrap their arms around me and tell that they had me, but then didn’t start with the un-inspirational ideas like:

You can do it you just have to try

Go to the gym!

Go for a walk!

I am always here if you need to talk!

Although all of these are said with sincerity, this is why to someone in a mental health crisis feels judged or a burden.

Most people who feel like this, do not want to feel like this. However, for whatever reason either emotional or physic logical they cannot just “snap out of it” Just like someone with meningitis or COVID can just snap out of it!

Go to the gym or a walk! As much as you think is an easy thing to do. There were days that I was so physically affected by my mental health that I could not even get out of bed. My body quite literally ached with physical pain, as intense as my emotional pain.

I am always here if you need to talk! This sounds like something caring and understanding but for me in my darkest days, I would completely shut down, my body, mind and soul felt so heavy that sleep was the only relief. When I did wake up, I was full of so much self-loathing, that I would never dream of ringing someone to tell them.

Mental health stigma, stopped me from asking for help at the start of my mental health decline because I was ashamed. I thought everyone would think I was a failure and just playing a victim.

I was in a very emotionally abusive relationship at the time, and I was scared to show anyone just how much I was hurting. Especially my partner because I didn’t want them to leave me because I was too broken (her words not mine)

It’s been one year now I’ve been in recovery, surviving two suicide attempts. I have realised that the sigma can only be changed with honesty and I now talk openly about my mental health journey in the hopes that anyone sat in that lonely dark place knows that there is someone here to help and that can relate to their pain.

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