“One in four people in the world will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives. Around 450 million people currently suffer from such conditions, placing mental disorders among the leading causes of ill-health and disability worldwide”.
“Treatments are available, but nearly two-thirds of people with a known mental disorder never seek help from a health professional. Stigma, discrimination and neglect prevent care and treatment from reaching people with mental disorders, says the World Health Organization (WHO). Where there is neglect, there is little or no understanding. Where there is no understanding, there is neglect.”
_ quoted from The World Health Organisation
photo shared on #livingfearlesslyauthentic by @everycloudmummy.
The photo featured above was taken by an intelligent, beautiful woman. A mum to two gorgeous children who works as health care assistant, but yet Roxanne was having a secret battle, she was suffering from Mental illness. She wrote a very honest post titled “My Secret Battle“, in which she says
“1 in 4 people in the UK suffer from a mental illness. If it is so common then why am I ashamed to admit that I am one of those statistics?
Why do I feel so uncomfortable and scared to even talk about it?”
Along with Roxanne, another beautiful blogger Wendy who blogs at Naptime Natter shared her post with my #mg link up last week titled “Mental Health after Pregnancy – reflecting on the darkest days.” It really is a must read if you haven’t read it already please do so.
With statistics telling us one in four people in our world are suffering from a mental illness, it shows us that many people we know, and work with everyday are living with mental illness, and yet most of us a unaware. Now it is fine if people don’t want to share their illness with everyone they know, or meet. But unfortunately many people keep their mental health issues private from even closest friends and family because there is still such a lack of understanding of how ‘real’ mental illness is!
We have come a very long way in understanding mental illness, but given how many people are suffering in silence it goes to show how far we still have to go. There is still much stigma attached to mental illness leaving people who are suffering feeling ashamed to admit they need support.
Mental illness does not mean you are emotionally weak. In fact it does not mean you are weak in any way at all!
There are many misconceptions about mental illness, including that sufferers are just after sympathy or attention, but clearly that is not the case when most people who suffer mental illness try desperately to keep it a secret. Attention is the last thing they want. Mental illness affects dads, mums, police officers, teachers, doctors, actors, writers, firefighters, baristas, receptionists, lawyers, shop assistants, dentists, children, adolescents, adults, and the elderly, basically anyone can develop a mental health condition!
Having a mental illness does not mean you have failed in any way, it does not mean you are attention seeking, or weak! If anyone is failing it is the people who judge people who have mental illness. Mental illness is not something you can just snap out of! And people who suggest it is are clearly uneducated about metal illness. Would anyone ever say you should just snap out of type 1 diabetes? Would you suggest someone snap out of epilepsy? NO! Because physical illnesses are seen as ‘real’, but an illness that is connected to a chemical imbalance in the brain is somehow not real, that is just ridiculous!
Many hugely successful people are living with a mental disorder or illness, including many celebrities who we hugely admire. These include;
- Adam Levine
- Drew Barrymore
- Demi Lovato
- Jean-Claude Van Damme
- Brooke Shields
- Michael Phelps
- Gwyneth Paltrow
- Ellen DeGeneres
- Halle Berry
- Jim Carey
- J. K. Rowling
- Graeme Obree
- Barry Hall
- Dwayne “The Rock’ Johnson
- Selena Gomez
If you feel you may be suffering from a mental health issue please do not hesitate to seek guidance through your GP. Most importantly remember you are not alone, with these worldwide statistics clearly showing that. You can get through this, you will feel better, but shaming yourself, feeling embarrassed or weak will not help you. You have every reason to hold your head up high. If the people around you don’t understand tell them to look up information or speak to their own doctors for advice on how to support you. Talk to people you can trust and people who can support you through this time, as Wendy from Naptime Natter says,
“Since I started opening up about my mental health way back at the beginning of the year I have learnt that talking is a powerful tool when it comes to recovery”.
People may not understand fully, but just remember you can never judge what you don’t know. People dealing with and suffering from any illness need understanding and support, just as you would never disrespect someone with Cancer, do not disrespect someone with any other illness.
There are great resources like beyond blue, if you know someone who is suffering I highly recommend reading this guide which will help you better to know what to say and do. “What to say and Why“! It is a great website for sufferers, and their friends and family. There is also a great page on adjusting to parenthood too.
One of the reasons I promote living fearlessly authentic is because I know what it is like to live a life that is all about pleasing others, saying and doing the so called ‘right thing‘ all the time. Trying desperately to be perfect. I lived it, and it left me exhausted and unhappy. Whether it is metal illness, or other issues that are holding you back from being your true self, you need to know that there is no such thing as thing as pleasing everyone and being perfect. The best way to happiness is being honest with yourself and if you need support along the way then please don’t be afraid, or embarrassed to ask.
Each week I feature a roundup of my favourite photos from the Instagram Community #livingfearlesslyauthentic, I want to thank @everycloudmummy for sharing her photo with the community, and also being honest and open about her own health. Here are my other favourites this week,
above photo shared by @mummuddlingthrough.
above photo shared by @cuddle.fairy.
above photo shared by @motherofteensuk.
above photo shared by @lifeatcookscabin.
Thank you so much to everyone who joins in and supports this community!
Thanks for joining me, love Mackenzie xx
Roxanne and her two gorgeous children.
And thank you to Wendy for linking up with #mg with her brave and honest post on dealing with mental health after pregnancy.