Thursday, 17 May 2018

Mental Health Awareness Week 2018- Sensitivity

Hi everyone, I hope you’re well?
I wanted to blog about the value of sensitivity when discussing mental health issues, when someone may disclose they have a difficulty or in general when someone may be not finding life not that easy. Although this blog focuses on Mental Health Awareness Week sensitivity is important when discussing any kind of difficulty, disability or condition and not just relevant to mental health. Many people may have co-occurring mental health problems alongside a disability or difficulty, such as: dyspraxia.

I’ve never been someone who finds it easy to talk about myself, how I feel or the struggles I may be having at a particular moment in time. As someone who has social anxiety/anxiety, my fear of judgment has always been pretty high. A fear of what if someone laughs at me, dismisses me or even worse tells me off or shouts at me for finding life a bit more challenging than they do. I don’t think anyone can fully understand what it’s like to have experiences of mental health unless you have faced challenges yourself but we can all show some empathy.

From an outsider looking in perspective when someone may be facing issues invisible to the eye, be feeling overwhelmed and unfocused with anxiety or withdrawn from the low mood and that they are simply being lazy or not trying hard enough. The world we live in is very fast paced and very go, go, go. So it can be difficult for many people to understand why other people may simply can’t just do something, it took them a longer period of time or why they may get overwhelmed or low with tasks many people simply take for granted. When you add other difficulties  and disabilities to the mix, it adds another layer to the equation. There are also so many different perspectives on mental health, no two experiences are the same. Charities such as: Time To Change and Mind do a lot of work to help to reduce stigma.

But, many people who struggle with their mental health also have difficulties with their self-esteem and confidence. There’s a good chance that we will already be hard on ourselves, or maybe be more sensitive. So sensitivity or a listening ear can mean a lot to someone who is going through a difficult patch. Shouting or insensitive comments or looks don’t make someone feel better about themselves, in fact, it can make things more difficult.

From my own personal experiences due to the invisibility factor, there’s also a fear of people thinking you’re lazy or not trying hard enough. I know well how situations, places and things people take for granted are far from easy to me. Situations which many people wouldn’t think twice about such as transport, getting my hair cut, going to the dentist or going to a concert to name a few. Can be a lot more anxiety and panic-inducing for me and then is the low mood from depression which can come from life too. I know too well how words can make you feel when you're already finding things difficult, but how the sensitivity of others and some understanding can mean a lot too. I would like to thank people for standing by me recently when life has been a bit tough, it means more than you'll ever know.

Sensitivity can help someone believe in themselves when they struggle to and open up and talk when it might be hard.

You’re stronger than you think!

Until next time...

On Sunday my dad and my boyfriend Matt will be running Manchester 10k in aid of Mind and Dyspraxia Foundation to raise awareness. I don't like asking people for money, as I know money is tight at the moment, but every penny helps to make a difference.

Dyspraxia Foundation:

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