For the next two weeks, I’ll be taking part in the Time To Change ‘Storycamp’. This is where the charity sends you prompts and you write a blog, do a vlog or talk about it on social media. As a Time to Change Wales Champion, I thought I’d give it a go. So, the first topic is: why do I believe it’s important to talk about mental health? Let me tell you why.
Throughout my life, I’ve struggled with my mental health. My moods were always so erratic, very high, very low and nowhere in between. Because of this, I didn’t feel like I was normal or that I fitted in where I should’ve. I was so angry at times I thought I might implode. Other times, I wouldn’t stop talking and felt like I was going at 100mph. I had my first breakdown at 22 and seven years later when things were at their worst, I was referred to a psychiatrist and assessed. It was then I was told I had Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). Reading about BPD, I identified with all of the symptoms of the condition. Some were worse than others. It was being diagnosed, given the right medication and being referred for Dialectical Behavioural Therapy (DBT) that helped me to be in a good place to share my story.
However, it didn’t happen overnight. Before talking to strangers about my story, I had to share it with my GP, a counsellor, a psychiatrist and eventually my family and friends. I had to share with them what it’s like in my mind. When I felt like these things weren’t so overwhelming, that’s when I became a Time To Change Wales Champion and Mind Media Volunteer. I’ve met some inspiring people who are so supportive and brave. I also felt, for the first time, that I fit in and was part of a community. Talking about my mental health was to thank for that.
So, why do I believe it’s important to talk about mental health?
- I believe sharing your story helps to take the weight off your shoulders
- I believe in the Time to Change campaign, helping to break the stigma and stop discrimination around mental health.
- I believe sharing your own experiences will help someone else in a similar situation.
- I also believe sharing your story will help others not to feel so alone
Remember to take it a step at a time. Start with talking to a friend or doctor and work your way up. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither were you.