How Is Your Mental Health Today?

I periodically revisit regular questions on the blog and this is one very close to my heart. It’s a topic I feel we are often too frightened or embarrassed to talk about, we duck the issue or brush it under the carpet for another day. We are all too quick to share our physical aches and pains with others but when it comes to our mental health we clam up. Some see it as a sign of weakness to admit we are struggling with our mental health.

Would we soldier on if we broke a leg? No, the pain would become too much and we would seek medical attention. Unless we’re John Rambo. So why ignore help if we are broken mentally? Ignoring our mental health leads to mental illness which impacts upon quality of life. Yet, so often, it can be nipped in the bud if we only speak up and ask for help at an early stage.

Recognising you are struggling is a strength, not a weakness. It should be applauded, not ignored. If you are struggling today, please don’t bury your head in the sand. Talk to someone, a friend, a relative, someone you trust enough to confide in. It could be the first step towards recovery and restoration. Don’t dither it’s delay. We only have one mind, one body. Let’s look after them.

Mental health and our inability to deal with it is a blot on the landscape of our society. The stigma attached to it is unwarranted. People are suffering excruciating pain in silence, people are sinking beneath the surface never to be seen again. We need to wake up and smell the coffee, before it’s too late. I urge you to speak up, to reach out, to be there if you are needed. For the next time it could be you.

How is your mental health today?

Published by Fractured Faith Blog

We are Stephen and Fionnuala and this is our story. We live in Northern Ireland, have been married for 15 years and have three kids - Adam, Hannah and Rebecca. We hope that our story will inspire and encourage others. We have walked a rocky road yet here we are today, together and stronger than ever. We are far from perfect and our faith has been battered and bruised. But an untested faith is a pointless faith. Just as a fractured faith is better than none at all. We hope you enjoy the blog.

45 thoughts on “How Is Your Mental Health Today?

  1. I know people who ignore things like broken bones. People who routinely ignore their physical health. Of course, I live in the States & that’s the way it is here. It’s wicked expensive to get health care here so people just don’t. It doesn’t matter if it’s physical health care or mental health care or dental health care or whatever. I know people who have lost almost all of their teeth because none of us have dental care. I have all my own teeth (except for one that was knocked out when I was a kid … there’s a crown there) & no cavities so I don’t worry too much about dental. But most of us “soldier on” because we have no choice whatsoever.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m doing well! Attended a suicide prevention walk this weekend and was so excited it was so well attended.

    I also live in the States and there is free and cheap mental health care out there. Not enough, and often those who need it don’t know about it. I was just asking my Facebook friends last week what was out there so I can be educated when I find people who need help. I’m also on the missions board at our church and I had asked the other members what local non-profits work to help people in healthcare/mental health situations and whether that was an area we should be giving financially to. Others agreed it was, but didn’t know what organizations are doing in our area. I found a friend who works in the field and she and I are going to get together and talk about it. And that is what it takes. We need to be informed, wherever we live, and if there are shortfalls in the system we need to be willing to help fix them.
    We need mental health care to occur sooner in people’s lives….before things escalate. And talking about it is important. No one should feel ashamed.

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      1. Thanks. I lost my 17-year old nephew and my cousin to suicide, as well as some friends. It tends to make you become mobile!

        Thanks again for your beautiful writing about it and not being one to hide. You keep up the good work, too.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Unless you have been ill yourself, you do not understand. When i am in the middle of hell i don’t care about a knight in shining armour that will come rushing in to give of their service and then disappear back into the woodwork, believing they are wonderful, what i need to constant care. It was easier to tell my mum i had cancer than it was to tell her i had taken an overdose and survived it. Do my family know? Yes. Do they believe i am better? Yes.

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      1. While I have not suffered myself, several family members and friends do. Resources can and have helped them. They can also help me understand how to help them…because I know I can’t understand their disease without some education. Especially when they don’t quite understand what is going on themselves. We’re in this together.

        My thought is that none of us really understands another’s life. We’re all unique and look at the world through our own filters. Though you may not need the services available and your family provides enough support, there are also those who are not comfortable talking to their family or friends and a third party helps. I have been asked to help them find help. I did, but I want to be even more ready if and when it happens again. Also, different folks need different treatments. I need to be more familiar with what is out there. Plus I have the opportunity to help get funding to non-profits that work in these areas. I want to be able to do this.

        I’ve lost my 17-year old nephew to suicide and my cousin, as well as several friends. I can’t bear to lose anyone else.

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        1. I have been asked by two separate counselors what would cause me to end my life, my reply as always been ‘i don’t know,’ I took an overdose 18 months ago and survived it, but i still don’t know why, why i survived it or why i am here, what my purpose is.

          I was a registered nurse for 33 years and after a fall down stairs at home and when the pain in my body didn’t subside after i had recovered, but worsened i was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and then chronic fatigue syndrome and i was unable to return to work – why do i tell you this? i colleague at work was diagnosed with the same things, i believed wrongly that if she was at work she was fit enough to do her job and expected her to do so, now i know differently, now i can’t believe she is able to get out of bed every day and physically cope with her own pain while working, but she still does.

          I have had depression all my life, The first time i remember being sad and abandoned (anxiety) i was 5 years old – were my parents horrible people, NO they were not, i had a good childhood. Both the depression and anxiety have come and gone over the years, to varying degrees, i have taken medication on and of but the side effects were so bad my life was more precarious on them than off them. I too lost a nephew to suicide, he hung himself, for reason not really understood, he was 39. I lost a friend, Judith when we were 15.

          I applaud you for your efforts, honestly i do, i am not being sarcastic or funny with you, we do need to understand more, but it doesn’t mean you will prevent a suicide, and you must never feel like it is your fault if someone you are close to chooses that path, it’s their choice in the end. I don’t think it’s always possible to know or to stop such a thing from happening. Recently i found my answer to the question, what would cause someone to take their own life? they lose hope in themselves, in their ability to be normal, and being not normal is some how no longer acceptable – they lose hope in themselves – not in the people around them.

          Also, it was easier to tell my elderly mother that i had breast cancer (2 years ago) than it was to tell her i had tried to die. Do i really want to die, far from it!

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          1. That’s the horrific thing about suicide. A split second decision changes the world of so many. We don’t understand the brain enough. There are things going on in people’s brains that we don’t completely understand….they just want whatever it is to stop. My great nephew had anxiety….which he did try to self-medicate with drugs. Which on a 17 year old developing brain, or that of any brain, will lie to you. He was with his mom when it happened. She had been with him all day and it was a good day. He woke her up because of the anxiety. She had been talking to him….and it wasn’t negative. She went to his bedroom and he walked outside on the deck and shot himself.

            When my nephew died I wrote a blog about it. I strongly made the point that he did not do this because he did not feel love. He was dearly loved by our family. He and I would go on “dates” to concerts together and he was the best companion.

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            1. You need to know that it wasn’t your fault or his mum’s fault either, if you had stopped him on that day they would have been another day. Those who want to die need to choose not to and then help and support can/will help.

              I believe in God – it doesn’t matter if you don’t – but after downing 18 extra strong pain killers and 18 normal pain killer i will swear to the day i die, a very old lady, that he spoke to me and simple said, ‘stop, this is not what i want for you.’ I then took 2 sleeping pills and went to bed. I was 54 at the time. I believed God saved me, because although i was unwell for a couple of days, in the end i was alright.

              Am i unloved and unwanted or uncared for? Certainly not! It’s a an instantaneous action – i didn’t take one pill at once, i took them in a handful – i can no longer swallow pills like i use to.

              Just remember, it wasn’t your fault.

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            2. My iPad keeps doing things on its own. Like hit send before I am ready.

              You say not to blame myself for my great nephew’s suicide. That I couldn’t prevent it. But one of the curses that remain afterwards with those who love the person is we wonder if that is true. I believe many of us think over and over different scenarios that would have changed his decision. That would have gotten him through that moment. Through that night. To a point where he would have been more stable. It’s futile, but we do it anyway. A parting gift of suicide is a lifetime of trying to understand. We go on and live good lives, but then out of the blue you are hit with the reality of what you lost.

              Many people are like you. They don’t take their meds because of the side effects, but then it leads back to the depression and the suicidal thoughts. Once again. It’s a brain disease and the on and off keeps things from being stable. You’re a nurse. You probably understand that better than me. Do we need new drugs? Do we just need to help people who have suffered from this all their life realize normal? And that normal still hurts sometimes and still can mean days you are off kilter? I don’t know.

              Ultimately we can’t bring my great nephew back. I know that. But like I said, we struggle. Yes, I want to understand the un-understandable. I think we all do. And while it seems like a silly exercise, I still want someone to figure out the why. Because there is a why. There has to be.

              I hate you’re having to face so much pain, inside and out. But I am glad that you have chosen to live. You seem lovely. I hope you continue to make that choice every day.

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  3. Over here they used to feel having mental problems is like becoming mad and every counseling, even marriage counseling is done by all the relatives..lol..things r changing now though

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  4. Great post. I wish more people would talk about mental health. And since you asked – I’m struggling today. Could be cause I forgot to take my anti-depressant yesterday. I’m not sure. It will pass I know. Just sucks when you’re going through it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. What can i do for you? I didn’t find antidepressants useful in the end and i gave them up, but that doesn’t mean you should. I hope you have someone to speak to, or someone who is just there.

      Liked by 2 people

  5. It seems there has been great strides in bringing to light the importance of mental health (at least here in the states) and the attempt to removed the negative stigmatization that so often accompanies them. In fact, I just watched a comedy special with Gary Gulman titled “The Great Depresh” last night, where he talked openly about his depression in an honest, educational way all while bringing the funny. I highly recommend it!

    I say that, and I believe it’s true—that we’re trying to be more accepting, more approachable in this area–but then we back peddle when the media bombards us with repeated Breaking News Reports that the recent school shooter (an outright epidemic here!) is found to have struggled with mental illness. We hear these reports over and over and over again! It’s scary, honestly.

    It also solidifies the absolute NEED our society has–whether we are aware of it or not–for more awareness, more and better programming starting at younger ages. I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea how to do this or exactly what is needed, but I am all in favor of starting with talking to someone.

    In order for anyone to feel comfortable talking to another person about what they’re struggling with, we have to be approachable, be a good listener—be in community. This is becoming more and more obsolete as I notice people with their heads in their phones more than engaging in the real world or in face-to-face conversations. Sigh! I’m rambling here. Simply, it starts with us.

    Great, thought provoking post again this morning! Love reading you with my first cup of coffee! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Excellent post – as always. If you have a moment to spare a thought/prayer for my “J” (not my story to tell) on this topic, I’d appreciate it.

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  7. Got knocked for a loop after hearing some news that re-opened the wounds of grief. I was feeling pretty heavy for a good part of the day, but much better this evening. I tend to write it out. I would also walk it out but time and weather did not permit today. Our mental health is every bit as important as our physical health. This is a very important post. Too many suffer in silence.

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  8. It’s okay I think. I’m in this weird stage of life between leaving higher education and finding a job. It’s taking a bit of getting used to but I’m managing to keep myself fairly occupied which helps with the mental health stuff but often less with the physical health stuff. I’m more worried about my physical health at the moment (not sure which one I’m better at ignoring at this point 😅). It’s a work in progress I guess. 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Yes, it’s a good post. Yes, mental illness needs to be spoken about more often. Yes, we need to equip ourselves with whatever makes life bearable until the darkness lifts. Yes, there is not enough support, certainly not in the UK. What most of us need is a friend we can trust.

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  10. I saw my psychiatrist today, and we adjusted my mood stabilizer. I feel like my antidepressant is working well, but I’ve been having some mixed moods, and more periods of tenseness, irritability, and high anxiety that isn’t fear and terror, but more the need to be busy. (It’s hard to describe if you have never been manic). I believe it will help. Because of everything that I go through with my chronic migraines, it gets hard to separate the mental illness and the chronic pain; they mingle and have similar symptoms. I’m going for a consultation next week at the Mayo Clinic in AZ, so I’m hoping that things will change. I’ve been seeing a migraine specialist (the only one in my state), but Mayo Clinics are more specialized. I’m also seeing a neurologist who specializes in women’s migraines. I can’t really ever remember a time when these two have been separate – migraines and mental illness – but I know they do affect each other!

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