You thought that I would die without you But I’m livin’
Listening to Susan Calman’s Mrs Brightside over the last few weeks and it’s good to talk (or in my case – listen) to others talking about their mental health and knowing that I’m not alone.
I know a lot of people still don’t want to talk about mental health issues and everyone’s mental health is different, even people with anxiety and depression have different issues which trigger their symptons.
I don’t do crowds at the best of times and sometimes will have such a major panic attack that I want to just scream out “Leave me alone”. That might not sound strange in itself but no-one is trying to grab me, and no-one is aware that I am struggling to keep calm and not lose my head.
The thing that people don’t get about mental health issues is the way we cover up. The person struggling the most with mental health issues is generally the one laughing loudest, smiling widely and cracking jokes to stop people getting how badly they are feeling. In the words of one of the guests on Mrs Brightside no-one wants to be around someone that is miserable.
The thing is, when we feel at our lowest we will try and keep upbeat so that people don’t get that we want to crawl into a hole and die. That’s why you always hear people saying that they never would have thought so and so was feeling so bad, they were laughing and joking around just before they killed themselves.
The thing is not everyone feels so bad all the time that they can only think of killing themselves. Suicide is not the end result for everyone who is depressed, it does occur to those of us with anxiety and depression from time to time to kill ourselves, even that doesn’t mean that we will follow through and jump off a bridge, cliff or other high structure with a rope tied around our necks.
I can only talk about my own experiences, just the same as no-one else can feel the way I feel. I can’t feel anyone else’s pain, I wish I could, I can empathise with people who have mental health issues because of having these myself. I think we find it easier to empathise with others who are telling us they have similar incidents to ourselves, if we have been there then we know how it feels for us and can find it easier to get someone else.
Can we empathise with someone who is feeling something alien to us? Yes, sometimes we can, and some people are natural empathisers and can show empathy with others whether or not they have personal experience with what ails the other person. It’s often the case with some of us that we will work as long as we can until we burn out. 7 days a week often, because we worry that if we say no then there will be a time when we stop being asked.
Music today is from Destiny’s Child with a song from Lara Croft Tomb Raider which helps me to cope when the darkness descends.