Mental health advocate- anxiety attacks & help

We live in a society that is fast paced and we are expected to always be grinding. Always working hard. Always working towards are goals and our dreams. The motto “we’ll sleep when we’re dead” is a way to motivate you to keep working and that skipping sleep to work just means you will be ahead of the game.

If you aren’t always working then you’re lazy or won’t reach your dreams, unless you have lots of money that you can fall back on and just pay your way through life.

However, this mentality of “always need to be working hard” can be extremely detrimental in the long term. For short periods of time when life is stressful, then maybe you need to skip a few hours of sleep and work hard. Sometimes there is alot going on in your life – whether positive or negative stress – and you need to work through it, but know at the end whether that is a month, 6 months or 12 months of hard work it will be worth it and you can rest a bit more. So for short periods of time you might need to work extra hard to reach your goals, but a constant “non stop, don’t have time to rest” lifestyle can cause you to burn out.

Image result for burning out

Your body and mind give up… there is only so much a human body can handle. More and more people are burning out, mental illness is increasing. According to NAMI:

Approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S.—43.8 million, or 18.5%—experiences mental illness in a given year

Approximately 1 in 25 adults in the U.S.—9.8 million, or 4.0%—experiences a serious mental illness in a given year that substantially interferes with or limits one or more major life activities

Approximately 1 in 5 youth aged 13–18 (21.4%) experiences a severe mental disorder at some point during their life. For children aged 8–15, the estimate is 13%

Mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for both youth and adults aged 18–44.

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S., the 3rd leading cause of death for people aged 10–14 and the 2nd leading cause of death for people aged 15–24.

These statistics are frightening, but not to forget the fact that many people DON’T get help or get diagnosed. They suffer in silence, either because they don’t want to get help, they can’t get help or just don’t have the energy to seek help.

And so many people who seek help and are told to just rest and take some sleeping pills or calming pills. So many people that go to seek help and are told to wait 6 months because there is no time available. Whether it’s no time for therapy and therapy sessions, or no beds for someone who is suicidal and is told to go home and wait.

When a person is struggling with mental illness it takes ALOT of energy to seek help and many don’t do it easily. Usually seeking help is the last option, when you have given up on being strong and carrying on. When you have given up on suffering in silence, and then to be told to just wait or that you can’t be helped, that can be the last straw.

Mental health is a serious and rising problem that more people need to take into consideration. Better help and care for people with mental illness, but also to get rid of the stigmatization and taboo of saying you suffer with mental illness.

You can suffer from mental illness but be extremely hard working – you always show up to school, always do your work, go to work on time and can seem normal, but on the inside you are suffering and struggling.

Image result for mental illness statistics

I suffer from mental illness – primarily anxiety and panic/anxiety attacks. Just last week i had an anxiety attack in the middle of class and had to leave the classroom to just breathe. I had felt the anxiety building up inside of me, hard to breath, felt panicked and like i need to crawl out of my skin, the same time that i felt like i wasn’t getting enough air. My mind was racing, and i just had to get out of the classroom or i would burst into tears.

There was no apparent reason for my anxiety attack, nothing that had triggered it (not that i am aware of either). And there are days i can’t even go to my lectures because i have so many anxiety or panic, or days when i push through and go to class anyway because i know i have to.

From the outside i look normal. Like a girl with high dreams and maybe a bit of a perfectionist/overachiever. I work hard, i am always studying or working. Balancing school, online social media work, gym, socializing and everything else. Always trying to do my best and somedays working 12 hours straight whether it is studying, writing posts or planning for projects. This is a 365 day process, and it is tiring. The stress builds up and it all gets too much until i burst…. the anxiety taking over.

In the past i also suffered from severe eating disorders and depression, which luckily i have recovered from now and it is only anxiety/panic i still struggle with.

I don’t talk about it alot, there are times i feel extremely anxious and i don’t write about it as much as i used to. Mostly because i don’t want it to affect me in the future or future career, but at the same time it is such an important topic to talk about.

Far too many people are suffering with mental illness, whether they are open about it or not.

Image result for burning out

Better awareness, better help. But also letting people know that they are not alone.  There are people out there who can help you, whether that is a friend, family, doctor, nurse or even online people you follow or different hotlines which you can call if you need help.

I am lucky that i live in a country where medical care is “free” and so the cost of medical care isn’t the biggest issue, but actually getting time for therapy sessions or hospitals having free beds is the biggest issue. Therapy has never personally worked for me, even if i have been forced to therapy several times and i have never been admitted outside of my eating disorder/depression, but i have friends who have been on the verge of suicide and went to seek help and were turned down because there were no beds available for them despite them clearly stating they were extremely suicidal and couldn’t be left on their own. This just shows how many people are suffering everyday and need help and there just isn’t the resources for mental health as there is for problems with physical health.

A long post but i just felt like i needed to write about this. I know my blog is predominantly a recipe/vegan/nutrition blog, but i feel very strongly about mental health issues as well as overall health and it is something i do want to write more about and help others with.

If you have any questions or queries or want me to write a post about anything just let me know. Or do YOU suffer from mental illness, and how is the help/health care in your country?

^^People may joke about mental illness, but it doesn’t take away how serious of an issue it is. I can relate to these two pictures alot because it is 100% me. I.e i can distance myself, stop replying, be very silent and held back, sleep through 10 alarms and can struggle with just doing simple tasks…. and then when i am feeling better i begin to reply to the hundreds of  messages i get 3 weeks later with a “oh i am sorry i didn’t see your message” (sometimes i actually don’t haha…).

2 Comments Add yours

  1. carol says:

    Its a similar situation here in the UK -although we have the “free” NHS when it comes to seeing a doctor/going into hospital there are often lack of resources meaning lengthy waits for appointments/consulataions etc.
    A few years ago I suffered a complete mental breakdown brought about primarily by a build of stress over a period of time, and it was terrifying. Today, I am over the worst thankfully but still get times where my mood is low or a feel anxious.I am able to function somewhat in life again but still carry traits of my illness which some days are worse than others. Luckily, for me, treatment was put in place very quickly when I first fell ill but not until I had actually reached crisis point. In the weeks leading up to my breakdown I knew I wasn’t feeling “right” and had seen my doctor several times – . It wasn’t until I reached absolute rock bottom that I received proper help – but I can`t help feeling that this could maybe have been avoided if I had had help sooner.
    I totally agree that there should be no stigma attached to mental health – it is far more common than many realise. More resources are needed to deal with it properly and there should be more awareness. But until more people can talk about it more openly it is always going to be a taboo subject.
    Quite why I don`t know. Mental health illness can happen to anyone, in any walk of life. Many people suffer from it or live with someone who is ill. Yet it is still a subject to hushed up or ignored. We need to be more open, for there to be more awareness and definitely more health resources more readily available to those who need it.


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