Acceptance of Mental health

mental health awareness A smile hides our true emotions

Depression is a serious illness that affects millions of people and that’s why there’s so much help out there. Accepting your mental health is the first stage and was the hardest part for me. For those of you who are fellow sufferers you may be in a dark, scary place at the moment but I assure you that what your feeling is not abnormal. It might not feel like it but all the symptoms such as low self-esteem, panic and anxiety, extreme changes in your emotional state and generally feeling like crap! They’re all part of the illness and like any major illness it needs treating. You deserve the help, please ask for it! You’ll be amazed how much having someone to talk to will be of benefit. Unlike the picture above you no longer need to hide behind your smile. I was extremely pessimistic about going to see a counsellor but now I can see, it quite literally saved my life. It took me a long time to open up but counsellors are used to this and will be patient and empathic towards you. Once I did begin to unload all my bottled up emotions and talk about my mental health I felt a huge sense of relief.

Many people make the presumption that if your depressed you’re bound to fall into a certain category. Maybe your alone and isolated with no family or friends to turn to. Maybe you’ve experienced a life changing traumatic event. You might be financially unstable, facing bankruptcy, the bills are mounting up and you cant see an easy way out. You have no outgoings, no reason to get up in a morning, nothing to be proud of and no purpose in life. A disability might be preventing you from living the life you want to lead. Or you might just be one of those people whose glass is always half empty, you some how manage to find the negative side of every given situation and have a miserable outlook on life!

What if none of these things apply to you. I can honestly say I have the best bunch of friends in the world and I’ve been brought up in a loving family, which are still to this day amazingly supportive of me. I have numerous hobbies and interests and I enjoy many aspects of life. I’d like to think of myself as cheerful and my friends would tell you that I’m good company most of the time. So bearing all this in mind, do I still have the right to be depressed? Should I feel guilty for feeling the way I do, when I have such fantastic support all around me?  Well the truth is I did feel extremely guilty and at times even disgusted with myself. Useless and inadequate are also words that spring to mind and I certainly felt undeserving of any help with my mental health. As well as being confused and frustrated by the way I was feeling I remember also feeling an unbearable shame. On the news I’d see children being born into poverty or war zones and it would remind me how lucky I was. I kept going back to the same question of what right or reason did I have to be depressed?

Mental Health Acceptance

Accepting my mental health has been extremely difficult for me and I’m not certain I’ve even got there yet. The fact that its such a difficult illness to fully understand makes it even harder to live with. But it is an illness and a serious one at that, weather you believe yourself worthy of it or not. If you’ve got it that’s completely out of your control. As much as you put yourself down, you do need the help and more to the point your entitled to it. If your like me and you have good friends then ask yourself why? maybe it’s because you to are a good friend to them too. If you have a supportive family the reason could be due to you being equally supportive of them. Its time to start looking after yourself. I had visited the doctors twice in five years and one of those time was for some holiday vaccinations! It took me some time to come to terms with the idea of having a fortnightly slot but I finally accepted that having spent most of my life caring for others and putting there needs first it was now my time to get a little help.

mental health awareness Escape To A Nicer Reality

 

 

Welcome

Remember when you strip it back to its simplest form, life is beautiful

I’ve tried to make this site as easy to navigate as possible. At the top of the page is an alphabetical list of topics, clicking on any one of these will bring up that post. Down the right hand side is a list of my most recent posts. Please feel free to leave comments and I welcome any relevant questions you may have, I will endeavour to respond as quickly as I can.

ABOUT ME

My name is Shaun Ellis and I have a background in care work. I have worked in learning disabilities and mental health sectors as a support worker, including thirteen years working for the NHS. In the last two years I have needed the use of various mental health services to help me come to terms with and work through my own illness. I am no longer well enough to work as a carer but still feel I have a lot to offer. I have become passionate about mental health awareness, hence me creating this blog. I don’t profess to be an expert in the field, there’s many people with much higher qualifications than me. But I do have experience on both sides, as a carer and as a service user, which has allowed me a unique insight into the subject and I believe qualifies me to have my say.

As well as this blog I am close to completing my first book I am calling ‘Beneath The Mask’ which tells my story of living with an anxiety disorder and depression. This will hopefully be available to purchase in 2018 but I will keep you up to date on my progress.

So I guess the only thing left to do is welcome you to my blog and briefly explain what I’m hoping to achieve from it. First and foremost I’m wanting to offer support and hope, to people just like me. People who might be finding themselves in a dark lonely place at the moment and feel like their surviving at best, as they battle with their mental health. I also plan to challenge some of the stigmas still surrounding mental health and help people who don’t know, understand what it’s like to live with. I intend to include taboo subjects such as dealing with suicidal thoughts.      I’ll talk about the daily challenges I face and the limitations iv had to accept due to my illness.

I will share some of the coping tools which have worked for me and some straight forward methods of helping yourself. This may be especially helpful for people who need immediate help but find themselves on a never ending waiting list to see a specialist!

I’m using lots of photographs in this site, most of which have been taken by John Hayes. So a big thank you to him for allowing me to use them.