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Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

How can we bring up mental health and our struggles with it in everyday conversation?

I agree with @Alison5, it definitely takes a lot of courage and bravery to open up. I hope one day mental health can be a more open topic. A lot of people rely on knowing they are not alone when they open up to someone. Usually they open up because they know they have/are going through something similar.

We could bring up mental health in conversations by starting the convo lighter and more general.

Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

@Alison5 @litgym starting off casually and then 'dipping your toe in the water' is often my go-to strategy as well. To use another (scientifically inaccurate but still conveys my point Smiley Tongue) analogy: it's like boiling a frog in a pot of water. If you put it in boiling water it'll jump out, but if you warm the water slowly it won't know what's happening (actually, they will still jump out in this scenario but IT'S METAPHORICAL OKAY Smiley Tongue).

Starting a conversation with someone around mental health then is often about doing it gradually. Of course, sometimes a direct "are you okay" or "I'm not okay" works great too, but it takes a lot of courage Heart
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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

How can we bring up mental health and our struggles with it in everyday conversation?

I don't really hide the fact that I have anxiety or that I struggle with my mental health and while it has taken me quite a few years to get to this point, I am now open with it all.  A lot of the time once people realise I am so open about it then they bring up their mental health struggles. 

I remember that one night I was mentally exhausted and decided not to go to games night with my friends. When I told them that I was tired and was going to stay, they asked why if last week when I was tired (though physically tired) I still went. I used that opportunity to explain to them the difference between being mentally exhausted and physically exhausted. Because of that my friend group is more aware of my stamina levels as someone who has anxiety and it broke the ice so now we're more open with our mental health. 

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Whatever it takes I know I can make it through!

Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

How can we bring up mental health and our struggles with it in everyday conversation?

 

Ooo, this is a tough question @mrmusic! Honestly I believe we should only bring it up to those who are able to understand. Some people might not know what to say. Like me for example, if someone came up to me and said I have depression, I wouldn't know how to deal with that. I'll probably just respond with 'Are you okay?' 

 

I think we can talk about how our day/week is going, say if I was having a shitty week, and I would discuss that with my friends/colleagues. I don't want to burden them with my mental illness but just casual conversation about my what I'm feeling/going through would be good. Everyone talks about what a horrible day they are having. But when it comes to the full on stuff, maybe leave it to the professionals. I wouldn't have a clue on what to do if someone said I'm having suicidal thoughts... 

Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

How can we bring up mental health and our struggles with it in everyday conversation?

I agree with the notion of being brave and strong and opening up about mental health more

I've been trying to be more open with my mental health although not always suceeding I'm happy with how it's been going. I am apart of my local headspace youth reference group and as such I've posted things on facebook to help raise awareness and from that I have also been able to share a bit of my story with people who want more info about headspace, I am still wary on who I tell about my mental health, so I wouldn't openly disclose it to an employer again but if someone was really struggling to access help and feeling scared I'm more inclined to let them know that hey I have been there and it is possible to get help - this is one of the things that I found helped me a lot at the start of my mental health journey was hearing from people I looked up to also had either saught help for mental health and recovered or were still activel seeking help

 

 


Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart
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Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

How can we bring up mental health and our struggles with it in everyday conversation?

 

This is a tough one... I like what everyone has said on this already . @Bee , great point that there are some times we want to protect ourselves. Its so important to feel comfortable that the person you're telling about your mental health is someone you trust. It can still be scary to open up, but if it's someone you trust, it's a safe place to share. 

 

I think as well, in every day conversation, we can mention things like - "I took a mental health day yesterday" , to friends and family. You don't have to share more than you're comfortable to, but this normalizes the fact that all of us need days to focus on our mental health, and there is no shame in that. 

We can also mention  things like - "I'm having a hard day, but I've been doing X to cope."  Sometimes it's tempting to make up reasons why we can't do things as well.. the next time you're too anxious to see a friend, instead of making up an excuse, try saying "I'm feeling anxious and overwhelmed today. Can we reschedule?". 
Most friends will be very understanding, and it might even help you to deepen that friendship. 

 

A big one for me that's really helpful, is having a pre-planed response to hard questions such as "how have you been?", instead of lying, or freaking out... if you have something prepared to respond, you can feel more in control of what you're sharing.  I call this my "tag line". Something honest, and something I'm comfortable to share. Heart

 

 

Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

What a beautiful discussion we're having here! Thanks so much for your input so far @gina-RO @Bee @LeoTheLion @ErinsAntics @litgym @Alison5 @ecla34 @mrmusic @annabethxchase

 

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

It's time for our next question! (only if you feel comfortable sharing, though Heart)

 

How do you feel about your mental health at the moment - is there anything you need to work on?

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No human being, however great or powerful, was ever so free as a fish

Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

@gina-RO I also have a tag line response which is usually "I'm getting there" Which has been more my foot than mental health atm but ahwelll Smiley Tongue
But in general the question itself of how are you gets me every single time Even with my gp and psych's there's that awkward pause and then after a while it all comes out like word vomit if I haven't thought about it prior and kind of jotted down my thoughts.

 

How do you feel about your mental health at the moment - is there anything you need to work on?

Right now my mental health is in a bit of a rocky patch and there are a few situational things that are impacting this and making it hard to fully control my mental health - my treating team has recognised this and we are working on it. A big one is my foot, as some regular users will know I had to have a surgery a couple months back in August, and I'm not allowed to walk on it for 3 months! Recovering from any injury can be an utter pain, but this one is especially challenging because it's the foot and the foot is responsible for a lot of your walking and balance etc. 

With all that considered I'm okay with where my mental health is currently, I would like it to be better, but I'm working on that and I'm progressing at a steady pace I think Smiley Happy

I think the biggest thing I need to work on is my confidence. I am often shy around social events and find it really draining to do, so often I will cling to one person with all my might Smiley Tongue So if you invited me someplace expect me to be clinging onto you like a shadow XD For me it's like my brain just forgets what to do and I overthink and doubt myself way too much. I find this quite challenging to face and thus avoid it too much, but the other thing I recognise and accept is that I'm more introverted and quiet, I prefer a quiet movie and colouring night over going out to a busy club or resturant. And when I do go out (Like I did today for my birthday) I usually choose the quietest place (which also happens to be a fav of mine Smiley Tongue )


Remember you're amazing just as you are Heart

Re: [SLOW-MO CHAT]: Mental Health Week!

How do you feel about your mental health at the moment - is there anything you need to work on?

Honestly all things considering my mental health is good, I am feeling a bit stressed but that's because I have so much on! Including 4 assignments due and 2 job interviews next week, which is crazy and I'm having to remind myself that it's ok to take a break and it's ok to be stressed as long as I get everything done Smiley Happy

I've definitely had to work on letting myself feel things - like it's ok to be feel sad or betrayed, its ok to cry and just let the tears out. Because if you don't let yourself feel things then you push it all down and you end up with a bigger mess when it all comes up to surface.

I also need to work on not apologising for being me, because at the end of the day anyone who can't accept me for me doesn't deserve to be in my life and I shouldn't need to apologise for my personality.

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Whatever it takes I know I can make it through!