National Mental Health Awareness Month 2016 | End the Stigma

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This post is going to be something a little different, and it’s a little long, I’m sorry. I’m going to try to post several green manis over the next month, but it’s the information about the reason behind them that y’all need to hear.

May is mental health awareness month. Every month should be, honestly. (Though, the same could be said for all months that represent things such as this.)

“Nearly 44 million American adults, and millions of children, experience mental health conditions each year, including depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, and post-traumatic stress. Although we have made progress expanding mental health coverage and elevating the conversation about mental health, too many people still do not get the help they need. Our Nation is founded on the belief that we must look out for one another—and whether it affects our family members, friends, co-workers, or those unknown to us—we do a service for each other when we reach out and help those struggling with mental health issues. This month, we renew our commitment to ridding our society of the stigma associated with mental illness, encourage those living with mental health conditions to get the help they need, and reaffirm our pledge to ensure those who need help have access to the support, acceptance, and resources they deserve.”

I’ve struggled all my life with depression and anxiety. I’ve always felt like I was sinking, no matter how hard I tried, or even how well things were going. I was in a dangerous place, mentally, for well over 10 years. I never felt like I had anyone to turn to, so I starved myself. Or I’d stay in bed for days at a time. It was the only thing I felt I had control over. Looking back on it now, I understand it. I thought it was me. I thought I was a brat. Or broken. Or damaged. No, it wasn’t all in my head. I just needed help.

I still have low days, those are unavoidable and I’ll never be completely rid of them, but I have ways of managing them, and I have a wonderful network of friends (yeah, I’m lookin’ at y’all) and an incredible boyfriend that all help keep me sane. Medication helps. I’m not ashamed in saying that I take one little pill each day to help keep me stable. You shouldn’t be ashamed, either. Had I gone through with the thoughts that I was having, I wouldn’t be where I am now. I’m happy. I’m loved. I’m learning to find happiness in hobbies and my day to day life again.

Currently, my boyfriend is behind me, playing Dark Souls 3, and showing me links he thinks will make me smile. I have friends sitting in the living room watching the newest episode of The Flash. Everyone is so happy. Life is so much better, and it’s getting better each day.

We need more awareness around mental health. It’s sad to see folks be told that it’s all in their head, or its just them trying to get attention. It’s not. We all need acknowledgement and love and compassion.

That being said, if you struggle with anything, reach out. I’m available. I’m a shit friend and I can’t handle phone calls (thanks, anxiety) but I’m here. You can message me whenever (my contact info is on IG, and I’ll work on getting it up here!) and about anything. Tell me how your day went. Did you see any cute animals? What delicious food did you eat? Anything.

There’s also websites and phone numbers that are open 24/7. You’re loved. I promise. Even if you don’t feel like you are, you are. You’re my friend, and I adore you. You have the choice to carry on and continue, and I sincerely hope you choose to do so.

“If you’re unsure as to whether or not someone is at possible risk for suicide, there are a few warning signs that are potential indicators of suicidal thoughts. These potential warning signs include:

-Persistent talking or thinking about death
-Depression that has worsened
-Partaking in risky behaviors that could cause death, such as driving wrecklessly
-Loss of interest in activities that once brought pleasure
-Abuse of drugs and/or alcohol – Expression of feelings of hopeleness, helplesness
-Feelings of anger/rage – Giving away personal posessions
-Writing/Revising a will
-Withdrawl from friends/family

Knowing these warning signs is critical, as about 75% of people who commit suicide display some of these behaviors.”

https://www.nami.org/mentalhealthmonth // https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/05/03/2016-10506/national-mental-health-awareness-month-2016 // You can also call 800-273-8255 for help at anytime.

The tattoo that I have (in the photo at the top) represents the fact that I’m not yet ready to end my sentence. I know that I’ll have issues with sadness throughout my life, but I’m going to keep treading water. I won’t sink.  

That gorgeous dusty green jade polish is Green Thumb from Pretty & Polished, which can be found here. That shifty topper is one you may recognize as Sir Cockicorn from Baroness X – check out her shop at http://baronessx.com/.

 

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It’s time to speak up. End the stigma. Educate others. Get help. Be the help.

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6 Comments

  1. Chelsea McDonnel May 5, 2016 4:25 pm  Reply

    Thank you for sharing this! We need more people to speak out and help bring understanding and compassion to the mental health network.

  2. Jessica May 5, 2016 4:26 pm  Reply

    Thank you for sharing part of your story. I’m glad that you are in a good place now. <3 Lovely mani and I look forward to seeing more green manis.

  3. boo May 5, 2016 5:36 pm  Reply

    All my love to you! I have battled depression for decades and life recently decided to throw anxiety into the mix for added fun. There has been more of a push recently for awareness of mental health disorders but it is still ridiculous how hard it is for people who don’t have them to understand what they are like and to understand that they are a medical issue and not a character flaw. Thank you for adding your voice to the conversation.

  4. jeebjeeb May 5, 2016 5:59 pm  Reply

    I also take one little pill everyday. And it was the smartest thing I’ve ever done. Thank you for sharing. The only way we can move forward is to talk about our struggles. Keep on treading water girl, we’re in this together.

  5. Nadia May 5, 2016 7:19 pm  Reply

    Beautiful post. I also have battled with depression and anxiety for over 10 years. Anxiety is my main demon and some days I can’t leave the house because of it. It’s very comforting to know I am not alone.

  6. Lindsay Johns May 19, 2017 11:49 pm  Reply

    I’m so thankful that you are in this world and have become a part of my life! You’ve lifted me up when I was feeling low on more than one occasion.

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