Mental Health Awareness Week - My story
My mental health journey starts in the middle of 2013. I am currently working as Cabin Crew for Emirates and I have just landed in Hong Kong. When I get to my hotel room I get an email which triggered what I think is my first ever panic attack. After that followed months of sleepless nights, stress and feeling very very down. I later managed to figure out that that was full on depression. Fast forward to end of the year and I moved back to London. During the next summer I contacted my GP to get some professional help and they referred me to a practice in Bethnal Green where I could go to therapy. Throughout this period I had started listening to Hannah & Amanda, a Swedish podcast by two media-famous sisters who shared their own experiences with depression, anxiety and therapy. Hearing their conversations was so refreshing as they were completely honest and didn’t sugar-coat anything and it was the perfect push for me. A year's (!) wait later I got the call where the practice said they finally had space for me. At this point I felt pretty ok with everything, but I still accepted. I started going to therapy and over the next few months I laughed, cried, broke down, picked myself up and laughed again.
During my short stint in therapy I learnt so much about myself. I learnt that I have struggled with anxiety since I was little. I learnt that having these kind of feelings are totally normal and that I am not alone. I learnt ways to communicate with others who doesn’t necessarily know what anxiety/depression is. But most importantly, I learn what my triggers are and various tools to help myself and others (probably why I quite enjoy talking about this topic).
It is now 2017 and 4 years since I had my first panic attack. I’ve had a few more during the years and I have definitely had anxiety and shorter periods of depression too.
My biggest source of help has been my partner and friends. I’ve stopped feeling embarrassed and I try and be as transparent as I can be. Talking things through into minor details helps me realise that I’ve maybe overreacted, that we can solve it by doing X, that the person involved was an idiot or other, haha.
Another help is websites and books. There are so many great articles out there that explains various mental health issues so well, and I read them all the time to educate myself further. If you are someone’s partner or friend, I suggest you do the same. Even if you don’t experience anxiety or depression, maybe you can try and understand it.
23 tumblr posts that sum up having both depression and anxiety (funny and real!)
And last but not least..
Mental Health Foundation. They have a lot of useful publications and help!
Previous posts about mental health:
Let's talk about anxiety, again