MENTAL HEALTH AWARENESS // DEPRESSION & ANXIETY

The state of our mental health is everything.

Mental health issues includes Bi Polar, Schizophrenia, Depression, Anxiety, Panic Attacks and lots more.

What is depression and anxiety?

To me, depression and anxiety is a battle with your emotions and primarily your mind. Depression is the dark voice inside your head and it makes you believe many, many things. Maybe that your not good enough or even that life is not worth living in really extreme cases and it can effect anyone! Just recently the lead singer of Linkin Park committed suicide and he was also so open about his battle with depression.

  • Robin Williams
  • Chester Bennington
  • Kurt Cobaine
  • Alexander McQueen – suffered depression from the loss of this mother
  • Stevie Ryan – Suffered depression from the loss of her grandpa
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Listed are just a few people who committed suicide due to their battle of depression just to show that even very successful people who you think have everything can also be effected. But whatever depression and anxiety has got you thinking what is certainly does do to everyone is strip you away from any kind of motivation to do anything.

I personally suffered depression for the first time when I was 18. I moved away from home from a dispute with my dad and I was forced to ‘figure it out’. I was used to having my mum and dad do everything for me and now not only did I have to learn how to look after myself, I had to figure out where I would live and also learn to budget my part time wage of £320 to last me the full month once my rent of £110 was deducted.

To make things even more complicated I realised I had to keep my studies on the down low because if the council found out I was studying they would stop my housing benefit for my rent. Wouldn’t it be better that I drop my studies and go into full time employment instead of trying to make something of myself as an 18 year old young adult?!. mm that is for another discussion. I was studying 5 days a week and working the remaining 2 days and this was the first time in my life I felt alone. I learnt I had depression tendencies.

Depression eats you from the inside out. It is more than just a ‘snap out of it’, ‘cheer up’ kind of solution. You keep what you are going through from others in the fear of not being understood and that leads people to thinking how you might be unsociable, unreliable or straight up weird. In the thick of it your unable to do the most simplest of tasks.

We are in an era where promoting fitness is huge right now and how a strong body is now welcomed especially for women, which is great instead of promoting and aspiring vulnerable young women that being size 0 which was for years promoted as a symbol of beauty. Forget how heavy you can lift in the gym. None if that matters if you are emotionally and mentally unbalanced. BUT I think a time has come to promote the importance of our well being and mental health issues. Without a strong mind a strong body is useless. It is the mind that drives the body and unless you have suffered from depression or anxiety it is something you can not understand and there are still so many people that choose to not deal with their issues as even today it is really not properly understood or accepted in today’s society.

I am not afraid nor ashamed to say that during my grieving process depression has made a comeback. There are many many people out there who suffer from mental instability, mental and emotional suffering, anxiety and depression for many different reasons and I believe awareness of this is important. People should not feel embarrassed nor ashamed. It is not right to feel pressured that we have our shit under control all the time and communicating with others allows people to see they are not alone. When people feel alone, people feel there is not away forward. Why must we say we are fine to avoid a debate or conversation of mental health because people feel uncomfortable?

I have had moments where I stayed in bed ALL DAY and felt totally useless, worthless and sad beyond words! On the 4th anniversary of my dads death I was in Sicily and I cried continuously the entire day! I stared at my bedroom door saying to myself ‘FRAN, get your shit together and walk through that door’. I got out of bed and held onto the wall like my life depended on it and I cried. After that little ordeal I did what I was good at which was crawling back into bed and I stayed there until 6pm.

Not only loosing my dad to Cancer hit me hard but also the months prior to him dying. Watching him loose his mobility, ability to care for himself, watching him cry and losing hope, him moving to a hospice and needing nurses to aid him for everything was hard to watch as he was a man who did not need help from anyone …. EVER! I know my dad wished he could just close his eyes and not wake up the following morning and in a way I wish he did too instead of having over a year and a half of suffering. He didn’t deserve it.  Loosing my dad and breaking up with someone I loved on top of that really hit me hard. Was like I was loosing people in both possible ways, having my heart broken twice and dealing with both mentality and emotionally is difficult.

Me and my dad on our last trip together in 2016 before be passed away in April 2017

Depression is real and can effect absolutely anyone. Male and female, rich and poor. Depression kills.

An unbalanced mental state can also limit us from achieving and reaching our full potential which is sad to think so many talented people will not shine as they choose and allow the darkness to take control. Its crazy to think how strong our minds are and how we truly limit ourselves through fear. Living in London we also live in a society where we are a lot more under pressure to achieve and succeed and not to forget social media also messes with our heads. Facebook, tinder, whatsapp…… Have you ever Facebook stalked an ex? or ever gone on whats app to see if a certain someone was online and then that gets you thinking why didn’t they message you back? what are they doing and who are they talking to?  Then you just cant stop doing it and you get into this unhealthy habit to constantly checking? YES, this is how social media messes with our head as great as they are bringing us all closer together.

I have spoken to A LOT of people this year sharing stories and experiences without judgement and for different reasons and motives all have suffered some level of depression and anxiety.

Things that have helped me on those darker days:

  • Talk to a friend
  • Youtube meditations : Positive thinking: Click Here.
  • Meditation on your phone App Headspace: I really enjoy this. Click Here.
  • Qualified help: There are also links if you prefer to go privately. Click Here.
  • Exercise
  • Get a good nights sleep
  • Go out with your friends and LAUGH.

All I want to say at the end of this post to whoever is reading this is that what ever you are going through in your life right now. Or what ever you are trying overcome you are not alone and we all have a lot more in common then we think. Find what makes you happy and just go fucking do it. Fuck what people think. Take it day by day and find that inner strength I know you have. If I was to sum up 2017 all I can say is that shit got real.

I am not at the end of the road where I am 100% OK and to be honest I don’t think I am anywhere close to it. Anyone who is grieving don’t underestimate the time you need to grieve because sometimes those bad days just sneak up on you. But I refuse to let a bad chapter control the rest of my life.

Talk to friends or talk to someone more qualified if that is what you need. But what ever you do DO NOT do nothing and DO NOT let life get you down because you are too special to not let the world see how really amazing you are.