Tuesday, 10 October 2017

What’s left to say?

I’ve beaten my mental illness to death. Or at least, I’ve beaten talking about my mental illness to death.

Today is World Mental Health Day, and I’ve found myself with nothing left to say.

I have depression and anxiety. I've had them ever since I can remember, but was formally diagnosed six years ago. Ever since, I've tried to use my diagnoses for good through campaigning, blogging, and raising awareness and money.

But how many times can I repeat my mental health story? How many times must I say that it’s okay to not be okay? That it does get better? That recovery isn’t always possible? That medication doesn’t have to be bad?

I’ve been saying it offline and online for the past six years and it feels like it’s all been for nothing, because what’s changed?

I’m frustrated at the lack of progress in mental illness in this country.

Services are badly under-funded and under-staffed. People on waiting lists can’t wait any longer.
I still hide my mental illness in work.
Celebrities are still mocked for their breakdowns.
TV continues to perpetuate the stigma around mental illness with unfair and untrue representation.
Halloween events still run ‘insane asylums’.
We justify acts of terror on mental illness.

It feels like we take a step forward only to take another one back.
So what’s left for me, or anyone, to say?

I know that there’s no immediate fix to the stigma, the lack of resources and support, or to my own mental health battles. But keeping up this fight is exhausting. I want the battle to be over. I want to be able to tell people when I'm having a bad day without fearing they'll think less of me or treat me differently. I want to be able to socialise and have conversations without having to discourage someone from describing their mood as ‘depressing’ or having to explain why a mental illness doesn't make someone 'dangerous' after every mass murder.

I want there to be nothing left to say when it comes to mental health because we all accept, acknowledge and support it.

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