Top Mind blog posts of 2015
Whether it's New Year or not, we at Mind never want to 'let old acquaintances be forgot'. With all the the Best of 2015 lists floating around we've been thinking about all the great people that have blogged for us over the past year. Over 700,000 of you visited our blog section this year. Not all the blogs were posted in 2015, but thousands of you read and re-read them last year showing they are still relevant and worth celebrating.
Below we guide you through the ten most-viewed 2015 blog posts ranked by how many times each was looked at.
Thank you to everyone who wrote and read any of our blogs, and we wish you all a good 2016!
No 10. For Becki
by Becki's Dad
We were really pleased to see this in our top ten, as it's about someone we always want to remember. In September 2014 we lost a great supporter and dear friend, Becki Luscombe.
In February 2015 she was given a posthumous award by the Deputy Prime Minister for her achievements in mental health campaigning (remember the #mentalpatient hasthtag? - that was started by Becki).
To mark the occasion her Dad wrote this moving blog about how his and Becki's Mum's lives had changed since losing Becki, and about how they want to remember her.
No 9. Borderline Personality Disorder: receiving a diagnosis
In late 2014 and 2015 we started hearing more and more from people diagnosed with borderline personality disorder (BPD) who felt they weren't being represented properly by professionals, by the media or even by us.
Lucy and Rebecca (number 8 and 9 in our chart) were just two of those people
No 8. Have a BPD diagnosis - my reality
We think that one of the most important messages we can give about mental health is that no one person's experience is exactly the same as someone else's.
That's why when Rebecca told us over social media that she didn't feel our video Talking about BPD reflected how receiving the diagnosis of borderline personality disorder had affected her, we asked her to blog about it, so we could present her experience too. And she clearly wasn't the only one as it is our 8th most popular blog of 2015.
No 7. Hearing voices with bipolar disorder
As understanding of bipolar disorder increases, many people still don't know that you can experience psychosis as part of it.
Katie blogged in December 2014 to tackle this misconception in a way that clearly touched many people.
From the comments on Katie's blog, we can see that what research tells us true. Hearing voices is actually very common, and although in many cases it can be upsetting and scary, it can also be quite pleasant.
It should also not be something anyone has to feel they need to deal with alone.
No 6. Depression: sharing my story
by Andy Baddeley
For many people struggling with depression, the thought that you are not good enough, or weak, can be overwhelming. It doesn't matter how many people tell you it's not true, many of us still live with a sneaking suspicion that they're just being nice.
Perhaps that's why so many of you took comfort in Olympian, fastest man in Britain (probably) and definitely-not-in-any-way-weak Andy Baddeley's moving blog about his struggle with depression.
This blog is actually the most popular blog that we posted in 2015. We're sure he will be glad to add this to his ever increasing list of achievements!
No 5. Explaining depression to the people that matter most
Something that is really great about blogs is that when you can't find words to explain how you feel, you can find someone else that can do it for you.
Looking at the comments below Zoe's post from April 2014, we feel like this might be the reason it's so popular. Here's a selection:
"I felt I was reading something from my own diary"
"...great blog zoe I wish I could put words together so I could explain to people more"
"So refreshing to hear a true account of how it feels."
"This is perfect, I can't thank you enough for putting it into words."
No 4. Sleeping with anxiety
Who among us has not lain awake, watching the clock creep through the wee small hours while we think over and over again about the events of the day just gone? Or the day about to arrive for that matter...
Many of us underestimate the importance of sleep for mental health. Not getting enough can be both the cause and effect of problems like anxiety.
Thanks goodness for Annie, who in her blog in April 2013 gave us some tips so great that over 2 years later people are still using them. With insights we can all get on board with, like watching boring boxsets and giving up on housework, we're not surprised.
No 3. Intrusive thoughts: my experience
by J. Grant
Your third favourite blog of last year was J. Grant's uncommonly frank account of what it's like to experience intrusive thoughts, which we posted in January 2014.
As J explores in his blog, it is not an easy topic to talk about. By their very nature, many people's intrusive thoughts are around topics which are considered shameful or taboo.
We are constantly stunned by how something seemingly simply like reading a blog can help people. You only need to read the first few comments of this one, to see it is no exception.
No 2. Raising awareness after my husband took his life
by Clare Francis
With about 1 in every 4 people in the UK experiencing mental health problems in any year, it must be very rare to find someone who isn't supporting a loved one with mental health problems.
That's why we're not surprised that our top two blogs for 2015 are both from people with experience of caring for a person with mental health problems.
Tragically, Clare lost her husband Mark when he took his own life in 2011. In her blog she explains how important she feels being open about our mental health is for coping, and how she wonders if this would have made a difference to him.
Clare has been a great supporter of Mind over the past few years. Her and her team at Money Supermarket have raised over £130,000 through boat racing, marathons, bake sales and climbing Kilimanjaro, not to mention the awareness she has raised with this blog.
No 1. How I came to understand my girlfriend's depression
Here it is, our number one blog of 2015!
When someone is experiencing depression, communicating with people around them can feel like the hardest thing to do. They can feel like everything around them is hopeless, including their relationships.
That's not an easy thing to talk about. And perhaps that's why George's open and honest account of how difficult it was to understand what his girlfriend was going through was so popular with you this year.