Today in the UK is Time to Talk. I can remember posting on this day last year when I was in a much different place. Back then, I struggled to accept that I have anxiety and depression. 

The lovely Lusuna posted some questions and answers about her own mental health. I thought this would be a great idea to do as well. There is still a huge stigma surrounding mental health. It stops people seeking help and opening up to their loved ones about their struggles. 

1. Have you ever been diagnosed as suffering from a mental illness? If so, which one(s) (if what you suffered from can be labelled – mental illness tends to work on a spectrum – feel free to simply note symptoms)? If not, do you suspect you may have suffered from one?

I have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. 
2. Do you have any friends or family who have suffered from a diagnosed mental illness? Please don’t give their details (it’s up to them whether they wish to share), but, if so, which illness(es)?

Not sure if they have been diagnosed but, I suspect some people I know have suffered with anxiety and depression

3. Have you ever experienced anxiety?

Yes. Up until recently, I experienced quite high anxiety every day. It made me avoid a lot of situations. 

4. Have you ever felt depressed? Feel free to elaborate.

Yes. My mood can plummet to an extreme low. When I feel like this, I go into shutdown mode. This means that I have no inclination to do anything. I tend to lie in the fetal position. I experience suicidal thoughts when my depression is bad. 

5. Have you ever suffered from stress?

I haven’t been diagnosed with stress but I feel that I have experienced stress. I was stressed when studying for my GCSEs, A-Levels and degree. I have also been stressed when I was bullied in work and when working in a stressful job. 

What would you say to a friend who was suffering from some form of mental discomfort or illness?

Surround yourself with reliable and supportive people. Feel free to get in touch with me whenever you want to talk. If you need your own space then I totally understand. Make sure to see your GP and access any relevant support services. Be kind to yourself and take each day as it comes. Things can get better
Have you ever been treated differently because of your mental illness?

Yes by those in the medical profession and by so called ‘friends’

Has your mental illness ever stopped you from doing or achieving something that would have been attainable if you weren’t mentally ill?

Anxiety and depression meant that I had to give up work for around 9 months. This has lead to a delay in my husband and I saving up for a mortgage for our own house. I have stopped going to see bands live because it triggers my anxiety.