Mental Health, Frustration, Lack of Education.Lack of Support.

I started to write about Mental Health yesterday as I had received so many messages where people who had suffered from trauma still felt unworthy, different and had still depletions of self worth. It frustrates me, as many people could be helped if the general public did not go into denial, turn their backs or hide away from the situation. Why do they do this?

There are many reasons for the above, mental health is an uncomfortable subject to deal with, people feel ashamed, uncomfortable and the easiest route for most is to deny it is happening. This is because the majority of people do not know how to handle it, cannot understand, and then become embarrassed about mental health, even when it is happening to their closest and dearest. A circle emerges that must be broken, as the lack of support leads to a downward spiral for those who need it. Lack of education is one of the biggest problems and because mental health is not a priority amongst other illnesses, it becomes over looked.

If people who are suffering do not receive the correct support, it is not surprising that they feel depressed, suffer from low self esteem and generally have difficulty in building themselves back up. People who have suffered from abuse or other mental health problems have had this self respect and self worth knocked out of them, it doesn’t take anyone long to gather that if they are NOT given the support to build this confidence back, then it can take a long, long time to recover. Some people unfortunately do not gain their confidence back. This so frustrates me, as a fellow sufferer I can empathise with people who have lost their self worth, and it is so infuriating that these people still suffer as in many ways, these people have actually probably pulled themselves through more battles then most. These people most likely should have a high sense of self worth as they have had the courage to fight through and pick themselves up from the darkest of places where many others would fall and remain there.What is also made worse is that the people who do not understand what people are going through, do not only NOT give support, they can make matters worse in their ignorance by saying the wrong things, and through their own ignorant actions pull people down. Many people who have suffered from a bad past are very vulnerable and sensitive, and this also makes matters worse as any slight ignorant motion from someone who should be in a position to care, can have significant down effects.

By coincidence to this blog, I have just received a review for my book where the reviewer actually states they suffer from mental health problems, but it is clear from the review they have no idea about child abuse. Yet they are quick to judge and throw an opinion. Although this could be taken as hurtful, it is actually useful as it demonstrates clearly how the general public still do not understand the nature of suppression and grooming. It shows that people are ignorant on how many years it can take for the suppression and denial to come to the front, and also how the effects of child abuse plays on the mind. I was writing a sequel to my fist book, as I value insight, yet this last review together with the many messages I have received shows there is clearly a lack of mis understanding of mental health, and I am also thinking of writing a plain book of simple facts and detail of how people actually feel when they suffer from some mental health problems. This blog still leaves me feeling frustrated as many people who have suffered from mental health problems deserve much better care, acknowledgement and understanding. I sincerely hope that one day this information clicks into place, and that the people who should be taking action to improve things do something about it, in the meantime I hope people believe in themselves, and lift their heads up high as they so deserve better.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Mental Health and Feeling Alone.

In the last few weeks I have received many messages from different people, all who have suffered some form of mental health problem.Although each person may have different circumstances and personal issues, they all shared one thing in common. This issue was that they all felt alone. This is not surprising whereas other illnesses receive media support and have sponsored events, and promotion of the public sharing and supporting the illness., which is a good thing. Mental health unfortunately still has this dated stigma, and it is still something that the public do not want to talk about and share. The consequences of this is that many sufferers are not only unsupported, making recovery twice as difficult for them, they also feel alone. They feel alone because they are made to feel ashamed that they are ill, and their self worth devalues, and this delays recovery and also progress as they cannot share their feelings. This also can become a vicious circle as sometimes the nature of the illness can be abuse, and if a person feels alone and unworthy they cannot stand up for themself, and can return to the state and situation that caused their illness in the first place. Denial also plays a major part which is made easier when the people around are also in denial and will not support or talk about the situation.Change is an upheaval and takes strength, many people who suffer from mental health need a positive change in their life and this is sometimes blocked because of the lack of support available.

It is frustrating as people who suffer from mental health need the confidence to share and talk about their feelings to aid recovery, in order to do this the public need to be more aware and to understand what is going on.Communication plays a vital part and until people start to talk and share their experience which takes courage, and the public also have the courage to take time out and to not only listen but to acknowledge the problems, progress with mental health will be slow.

I have a massive respect and admiration for people who are suffering from mental health issues, who have spoken out and admitted they are suffering, I just wish more people would give them a chance, listen, learn and acknowledge what is going on. One person listening can make a massive difference to the support and progress of someone else. It doesn’t cost a lot, just 5 minutes can even make a difference. I would like more people to realise they are not a lone as there are many people out there who share the same feelings, and it is not only up to people to shout out that they need help, it is up to people to listen.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Mental Health Sites and availability of support.

I was informed by a friend the other day who had attended a talk on mental health, and she had thought that the speaker had done an excellent job. She referred the related website to me, and I had a look. My initial concern was that the person who was in charge did not seem to have any qualifications yet had managed to open several sites to help those with specific mental health problems.

I then reflected on this and thought how ambiguous this can be, as there can be professionals out there who have all the qualifications that are needed and yet who still mismanage, and don’t understand the depth and real issues of mental health. Experience is a valuable asset and this can give a good understanding of what is needed. Yet what may be good advice for one person may not be the same good advice for another as everyone is different  and needs can be varied.

I don’t knock those who haven’t got qualifications if they can manage to support and help others, I personally think a combination is a good thing, if someone has the experience of mental health problems and has qualifications, not forgetting that there are also many fantastic professionals about whose experience of helping has given great insight. I also think that sometimes the information needed to help others should be read with an open mind as sometimes it can be applicable and relevant to some people, but not everyone.

I personally read some sites and in my personal view the ones that are good boil down to good common sense. One of the biggest helpers who has supported me in the past happens to be a neighbour and a friend who previously did not have any experience of mental health, but she had good common sense and knew what to do at the right time.

I think sites can be important and outside help, as sometimes people cannot turn to the people they love and their friends for support. External support can be a vital option, the knowledge that support can be available even if not used, can make a significant difference.

One of the key issues in gaining support in mental health is learning who you can turn to and actually learning who does help you the most. It might not necessarily mean the same thing.

If you can identify which support is the most useful this can boost your progress by leaps and bounds. Being able to have the correct support opens many doors and can be the start of believing in yourself and gaining confidence and self esteem to overcoming the problems and learning how to manage them and achieve the next target in your well being. Once people start feeling better and believing in themselves then they can achieve so much more. The progress is also so reliant on acceptance that there may be some bad days but that is normal and that 3 steps forward and one step back is still progression.

I think there are some brilliant mental health sites available that give good support, yet I also think that some sites are not appropriate to everyone. The key is learning to know yourself and to know which information could be of use and which is not appropriate. The same message could go for advice off people as well, as not everyone gets it right all the time.

I think the availability of support is a good thing if people can recognise which support is the most appropriate and helpful for them.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 3 Comments

Mental Health Stigma

I saw an advert on the television the other day promoting people to talk about mental health. It was short and simple, probably more to do with the costs of advertising etc, but it was a start and a step into the right direction.

However in writing that, although I believe the stigma about mental health still needs to be eradicated as it is old and out of date. I also can see that people would not like mental health issues pushed upon them as it isn’t the nicest issue in the world to deal with, and to some it can be quite frightening. Mental health issues need to be dealt with in a positive way and sometimes life isn’t as simple as that. Experience of when people have gone through mental illness and come out the other side can be enlightening and helpful. At the same time the truth doesn’t need to be brushed under the carpet ,and denial a way of accepting things. Many of the public don’t like mental health issues and the easiest way to deal with it, is to pretend it doesn’t exist. This is the least helpful way, as not only does it promote ignorance it can sometimes block and delay the path to recovery. When someone has a problem, whether it be an illness or not, the way to deal and manage with that problem is to understand the problem in the first place, to be able to manage it the correct way. Mental health needs to be understood and needs to be managed in better and improving ways. Experience can give massive insight, and as people are all unique and individual, the more experience that can be given the better.

I have received many thanks from all sorts of directions, from professionals, from mental health users, and from carers and relations of people who have suffered from mental health issues. I have also received criticism from some that do not understand, and from others who think it is not right to publicise issues such as those that are in the book. My personal opinion is that if the book has helped one person, then it was worth writing. The book has helped many people and I do not regret the style or the way it was written. The book is a genuine account which makes the insight valuable, and this is what has been recognised by the professionals, as well as some seeking support from different avenues. Besides reading accounts from different people, group therapy and talks also give important insight. Mental health needs to be talked about and shared in many different ways so that it isn’t a dark issue that is hidden. If people helped shine some light on the subject then others would see that it isn’t such a dark area as they first thought of. Yes there can be many distressing and upsetting events but these can still be managed, and it isn’t until these events are shared that others can start to understand them so much better. It is not just about the events being shared, it is about the power of the events and information being distributed equally so that unfair biases are not promoted and unfair stigma generalised from the powers above. People need to listen more, and listen from the heart as well as the mind.

My book is about my past which has many dark issues and distressing scenes, life is about moving on, and my website on facebook which was significantly about the book and mental health issues has also moved on. I can now share some fantastic positive posts that are not just about mental health, but about life itself. These posts are significant to me as they are about caring, love and nature, and contain depths of beauty and beyond. Some posts are also delightful as they are amusing and funny. Just because I had a bad past doesn’t mean I cannot enjoy life now and the amazing content that is life itself. i don’t forget my past and I don’t forget the issues involved. I hope to use some of the past to make the future a better and for me brighter place to be. I also find my past helpful as it reminds me of how lucky I am now. I am glad I took my psychology degree as it has also helped me understand people so much better. I am thankful for my book as it has led me onto seeing and believing in myself and opening my eyes to a much better world then before. I have gained so many friends from this website that I have learned to open up and see life in a completely different way. I wish others would give people with mental health problems a chance and a helping hand so that they can see life in a much better and positive way.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Mental Health- Don’t let yourself be labelled!

Mental health issues are so controversial, and in my opinion still so out of date. People who have experienced mental health problems are still labelled in such old fashioned ways, that it is nearly only through experience that understanding the frustration, the humility and the ignorance of others gives mental health sufferers a clearer picture of how ignorant and misguided some people can be.
It is only through improved communication and insight that these problems can be addressed. Even now in 2012 most people do not want to know about mental health as they feel uncomfortable about the issues involved and it is only when they themselves, or someone they know becomes ill through mental health that some may take a slight interest, Even then many can be misguided, mistreated and mismanaged through complete lack of understanding.
Frustration is major and instead of many sufferers improving, many can go downhill as not only do they have to battle with their illness, they also have to battle for the correct care, and also battle for self respect and respect from others.
I started a facebook page to promote my book A Fine Line A Balance to Survive as it had been recognised for the significant insight to child abuse, trauma and mental health problems and it also highlighted the ambiguous psychiatric care given. This page opened my eyes as so many people started to come forward with their own accounts of mental health problems and suffering from their own pasts. It saddened me as many had managed to conquer their own battles through their own inner strength rather then understanding from the general public. Although there is some brilliant care and management in some places, it is still lacking in many other places.
Another issue that hit me quite hard is how these people go on quietly in their own way and continue to lead successful lives, still having to battle the odd fight now and again for themselves as recovery from mental health can be an ongoing event. Whilst with other illnesses people can have support from many sources, and empathy and a helping hand, many mental health sufferers still draw on their inner strength to battle through and actually battle against unfair labelling and discrimination.
I have to be honest and whilst part of me can understand why many people don’t want to know about mental health issues, as it is not in most peoples comfort zone, I still don’t understand why in this modern day of time, that some people who train to become involved in various professions to do with mental health still lack compassion and understanding of mental health issues.
Mental health needs to be seen in a more positive light and this will only come about through improved communication and understanding. It will also only be improved when people can balance it more fairly and see more positive sides of the problems instead of the negative stigma still held.
My site has grown, and unintentionally but through the availability of photographs, other sites, and positive messages and signs, I started to post other messages up. I realised that although significant issues still need to be addressed, and awareness about mental health still needs to be promoted, that people still need to live and enjoy themselves and basically get on with life. I also realised especially over the last month, when I was let down by someone close to me and it was unexpected, that some of the messages and positivity that I had been posting on my site helped me to get through it. I also believe they have helped me to become a better person, as through the simplicity of some of these messages, I have been able to take a step back and think things through. Messages such as not judging people unless you have been in their steps, and believing in yourself are simple strong and significant.
For all those that have suffered from mental health problems and still have the odd battle, I say “Don’t let yourself be labelled, and believe in yourself.”

A Happy and Healthy 2012!

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Don’t hide child abuse!

This is a simple message that needs to be taken on board by many different people. Even in this present day and climate people do not know how to deal with child abuse. This is not just about the person who has gone through the abuse, this is also about the people who know about it and turn away. People are still sensitive to any sort of mental health problem and the stigma causes a massive deficiency in the care and support that could potentially be given out. Some professionals do give the correct support and management, but even today many misunderstand the consequences and do not realise the depth of the damage child abuse can do. The sad thing about child abuse is that the person who has not only been abused for years, has not only to deal with their own problems which can be low self esteem, lack of confidence, being vulnerable and losing trust in most people, but they also have to deal with other people’s problems in not being able to manage it or give support. They also have to in many cases be subject to the wrong support as because people do not want to give them the time or day for many reasons such as the stigma of mental health, or because it is so hushed up people do not know how to deal with it, the person who has suffered can end up in psychiatric care and be dosed up on medication when in certain cases, and I am not saying this fits everyone, but in certain cases all they needed was for someone to share what they had gone through, been given plenty of time, empathy and understanding and the correct support so that they could eventually heal and get better. This is frustrating as some people do not receive professional help and have had to fight it on their own. If child abuse wasn’t so hushed up then people may be more aware of the problems, gain better insight and be able to give out the support needed. In my own case I know my Mum loves me to pieces and my sister does but even they turned away. This was not because they didn’t care, it was because they didn’t know how to care, and in some cases it is easier to deny it is happening then to deal with the pain and the consequences of the situation. I know in my Mum’s case and sisters they were both embarrassed and more worried about what people would think then to get involved. I don’t blame them as this is a cultural situation and one that needs changing. The only way it is going to change is if people are brave enough and have the strength to come forward and to tell their own accounts of what happened to them if they suffered from child abuse or indeed any other trauma. As well as this, there needs to be more people out there who care enough to do something about it and to change the situation. I really give credit to those that have come forward and admitted that child abuse has happened to them in the past, as they are already trying to fight it. I give massive credit to the people who read these sort of books to learn from the insight and who want to learn more. Child abuse needs to be talked about, written about and not hidden away and only then will the acceptance and support be more available.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Strength in sharing! Re the facebook page for A Fine Line by Lisa WB

This is not planned, it just occured to me when I received yet another message very similar to other messages in the past!

A Fine Line was written because of several reasons, I have always loved to write, I like true stories, I have been inspired by other people and lastly I had an inner urge to get my past out on paper.

Even today I am not totally sure why I needed to share my story. When I wrote the book, I was asked by my consultant who I hoped would read it. I didn’t really know the answer I just know I needed to share it with someone. I have been lucky as that someone has now turned into several thousands, as a result of the book having such an amazing response. I then decided to market it as a facebook page, I didn’t realise that through this action I would be privileged to be in contact with so many fantastic people.
The site has grown in strength, and it is much more then a site just marketing a book. The site has depth, and it has morals, values and principles. I also think the site has it’s own strength. People who have been unfortunate to have been hit by trauma, abuse, or mental health problems are generally looked at as being weak in certain areas, not by their own choice but through the act of becoming unwell or having problems due to their own personal situation. I admit that I need help at some stages in my life, and I am not ashamed of this as I believe everyone needs support at different stages through their own lifetime. It takes a certain strength to admit this but it is the truth.

The site has opened my eyes and taught me so much, and this has also been endorsed by other messages I receive from having written the book. I have learnt that many of the people who have been traumatised, hit by mental health problems or have had significant problems all have an inner strength to combat their past, and not only do this but to fight on to not only help themselves but to support others as well. Most of these people have a quality of care about them that rises above others, and this does not only send out inspiration, it sends out a message of defiance to those that have wronged , but most significantly it nourishes and helps people to grow in strength and believe in themselves. It also demonstrates ‘hope’ and that through sharing and being able to relate to past problems and understandings gives out strength and the message that people are not alone. The site also has supporters that have either just liked the book or care enough to want to learn or know about other people. I obvioulsy do not know everyone personally but I have grown to recognise names and to treat many on the site as virtual friends. The site has become a learning curve and just one of the lessons it has taught me is that there are some reallly great people about, and people who I am very proud to share the site with. The site has given me strength through the sharing, it has helped me to understand more and it has also provided an enjoyment in sharing simple things like the photo’s with sayings, the pleasure of the animals, and the humour that makes us laugh. I hope people can share their feelings if they are having a bad day, knowing others will send a message of care. I also hope that the site besides being enjoyable can give out strength through sharing and be of help to other people.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment