Fluttering butterflies brilliant blog for Mental Health week

Monday, April 18, 2011

This week I’d like to discuss something very important and personal to me … mental illness. It’s something that I feel very strongly about, having struggled with various forms throughout my life. I feel, even now, that there is a huge stigma attached to people who suffer from mental health issues and I’d like to do something, even as small as hosting this themed week, in order to take away some of the shame associated with admitting to mental illness.

I am however, not a health care professional. If you think you are suffering from mental illness, please do seek support from your GP.

Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people today in Britian. It’s very common, but I’m sure that there is a lot that is not widely known about mental illness. It can take many different forms, from anxiety and panic attacks to depression. Personality disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Other issues related to this psychiatric disorders include eating disorders, the abuse of drugs and alcohol and also self-harm.

There are many different causes for mental illness: difficult childhoods, genetics, stressful life events to name but a few. And there are different types of treatment from medication to talking therapies and many different means of seeking help. For more information, visit the NHS website about mental health.

For me, I find that regular exercise, eating well, expressing my emotions and having someone available to openly speak about past events and my feelings does a great deal towards improving my mental well-being. I’ll be discussing some of my own experiences of mental illness during the course of this week.

During my Mental Health Awareness week, I’ll be reviewing several YA books that dicuss some aspect of mental illness or disturbance, share some of my own experiences, and provide some other recommendations of books that cover the subject well.

I think mental illness is a very large topic, and I won’t be able to address every aspect of it. In fact, the books I’m reviewing this week deal mostly with depression/bipolar disorder. Please feel free to write in the comments any books you’ve reviewed that deal with mental health issues, share your own experiences or give recommendations for books that discuss other aspects of mental illness!

Thank you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic!


5 Responses to Fluttering butterflies brilliant blog for Mental Health week

  1. annie says:

    Mental illness is still very much a taboo subject and people who have never experisenced it either 1st or 2nd hand have no idea of the debilitating effects both on the sufferer and their families.

  2. Myrna says:

    I wish mental health was spoken about a lot more,i really don’t know why there is still such a
    huge stigma attached to people that have mental health problems when basically any one of us
    could become unwell,perhaps people are still afraid of the subject.I have read so much information on the subject from websites to leaflets at the surgery,and booklets at the hospital
    until it has felt like it is coming out of my ears,it is good that you will be able to recommend some books to people,i am very knowledgeable about my son’s illness and have always asked CPN’s doctors etc lots of questions.

    • Jan Barber-Maltby says:

      There is, in the 21st Century, possibly a lot more mental illness now because of the huge stresses, strains and anxieties from everyday living. Mental Health needs to be more out in the open.
      I have an understanding of the issues of mental illnesses, my mother-in-law, God rest her soul, suffered with ‘dark’ depressions and had to receive treatment in a specialised clinic using electrodes, which in the end contributed to her Parkinson’s disease.
      Helen, my daughter, has Aspergers/Autism, and she has three personalities: a child, a teenager and longing to be an adult. Helen saw her first psychiatrist when she was three years old because of her aggression and violent behaviour. I refused any form of medication and throughout the rest of her life she has improved, she works as a carer herself, now and again the three personalities show themselves. Helen is currently being supervised by SCOPE.
      There is not enough known about Mental Health and there should be, so thank you for highlighting this topic.

  3. JaneJ says:

    I have mental health problems. Depression and anxiety due to my caring role and situation. I cant understand why we still have such predjudice in society still since it is such a prolific condition to have these days. Is it because the word “mental” in the title makes people think you are mad as opposed to the word being used in its proper sense ie the mind.

    I just wish that people were more understanding of depression and anxiety. No I dont need to pull my socks up, depression is more than just feeling a bit blue!! Having anxiety does not mean I am a weak person who cant cope. I am strong person who has too much to cope with.

    I think making people more aware and removing the stigma would be beneficial to us all and make it better for people who suffer in silence as they dont want to be labelled as “mental”.

    I find too many words these days have lost their impact due to incorrect usage. Unfortunately the word mental is one of them.

    Thank you so much for highlighting this topic as it is one I feel strongly about.

  4. ann(M) says:

    My father suffered from mental health problems and i well remember the stigma then,
    i don’t think we have moved on from those dark days of living in fear incase any one found out my dad was ill ,(with mental problems)

    i too have battled with those “low feelings” and still do. especially in my role as carer for a little boy with very challenging behaviour due to his syndrome.

    no we are not weak.
    i welcome this subject being talked about and understood more Ann(M)

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