Providing a platform for people to share their experiences of mental health problems on our blog is an important part of what we do at Mind. Who better to explain how mental health problems impact on people's lives, than you, our supporters?
We try and cover a range of topics related to mental health, in the hope that the stories resonate with other supporters, or people in need of support, and that they provide some practical tips, or just reassurance, that others can take away. We've published almost 100 of your stories over the course of 2018, and these are the top five most read:
When James experienced psychosis, it was the scariest period of his life. But with the right support and medication, he's now living a happier life. In August he shared his experience, detailing how the symptoms presented themselves, the impact on his family, finding the medication that worked for him, and his journey to more stable place. He said: “Although it was a dark period of my life, my experience has taught me the importance of looking after my mental health and wellbeing. I do this through regular exercise, healthy eating and talking openly about the subject. I want to use my experience to help others going through a hard time and help them overcome their struggles.” Read James' blog.
Amber lives with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), but despite experiencing mental health problems since she was 10, it was only last year that she fully understood the nature of her diagnosis, and the intrusive thoughts that she experiences. Amber blogged for us in August about her journey through the mental health system, and how she’s come to find support that works for her. She said: “I have been really struggling to come to terms with it, but it’s something I am learning to live with through help and support. I know my OCD will never go away, so I am learning to make it my friend rather than my enemy… I hope that in speaking about my OCD I have helped someone feel like they can open up about how they feel and hopefully recognise they’re not alone.” Read Amber's blog.
When Nia was struggling with stress and anxiety, she took some time off work to help her manage things. The experience taught her that planning for the return to work is also really important, and she valued being supported by her team as she worked her way back up to full-speed. In her blog from January, she shared some of her top tips for returning to work after any time away for whatever reason, including eating well, decluttering, and making time for yourself. She said: “This January, I’m going to make sure I put in place some of the things which helped me return to work last year. But I think in January it’s important to remember that everyone probably feels pretty similar about returning to work, so go easy on yourself and others.” Read Nia's blog.
Building a routine that you can stick to in daily life may not sound important, but for some people routine is what helps to keep them grounded. This is the case for Claire, who blogged for us in April about how prioritising things like eating well, exercising and sleeping as part of a routine has made a real difference when it comes to managing her mental health. She said: “I’ve come to realise that what once would have been a lazy few weeks in my life, can now actually compromise my mental health. So, if I choose to decide to abandon my routine, I either have to be sure that I am feeling particularly mentally strong or, that I am ready to accept the consequences.” Read Claire's blog.
At the beginning of her career, Beth found her employers less than understanding when it came to her mental health. Working in high pressure environments, she found that her mental health wasn’t the top priority for her employer. After struggling with her mental health and being misdiagnosed, she eventually received the right diagnosis as well as the support that she needed from work. She said: “I recently received a diagnosis of borderline personality disorder and my new place of work are so supportive and look out for my wellbeing. It’s amazing and I’m very lucky. Mental health should be a top priority at work because that’s where we spend most of our lives.” Read Beth's blog.