Why we need #worldmentalhealthday

“I’ve got the headache from hell.”

“I’m full of the cold”

“I feel incredibly anxious today”

“My stomach is killing me.”

One of these is not like the others.

We are generally pretty comfortable about sharing when we’re feeling physically unwell, but not so if we are feeling mentally unwell.

I’m not going to lie, I have found these last few months really difficult. I’ve often felt overwhelmed and anxious. In fact, earlier in the Summer, I thought my mental health was going to collapse completely.

The last thing I was expecting from my campaigning trip to Brecon and Radnorshire was to come back feeling restored, refreshed and energised.

I’m not better, though. More days than not, I feel anxious.

And just like many people with physical ill health, I go to work and edit this site and go about my daily life.

The Winter months are generally more difficult than the Summer ones. A fall on ice quarter of a century ago has cast a very long shadow. Going outside when it’s snowy and icy is so exhausting that I’m often fit for nothing by the time I get where I’m going. I have to get used to operating on empty and living in a near permanent state of high anxiety.

And when people diminish what that is like, and laugh about it, it makes life so much more difficult. When people tell you to pull yourself together, they have absolutely no idea how much you are already doing that.

I also think that it is getting easier to talk about things like Anxiety and Depression. Try and say you are suffering from Psychosis and you will often realise very quickly that stigma is thriving.

So that’s my take on World Mental Health Day. This year’s theme is suicide prevention, in particular the acronym WAIT, as Christine Jardine describes:

Alex Cole-Hamilton mentions the importance of listening:

Jo talked of the importance of being able to talk openly:

Jane Dodds has long championed measures to end loneliness and social isolation:

Luisa Porritt and Layla Moran shared their struggles with Anxiety and Depression:

 

Tim was highlighting shortcomings in his area:

Alistair tells us to ask twice:

And Norman supports the More than my past campaign:

Our Vice President BAME, Isabelle Parasram, highlighted those affected by Dementia and Alzheimers:

And Tom is thinking of young people:

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Read more by or more about , , , , , , , , , , or .
This entry was posted in Op-eds.
Advert

3 Comments

  • We need to look at what we are doing to others. For many people in our country they are showing signs of mental ill health as a natural reaction to living in poverty, to being bullied at work and so on. If we are to take this seriously we must risk assess everything we do and ask if we are adding to others’ problems.
    As politicians we need to ask what we are doing to solve these problems.
    This is not to say that the social issues are only factors in mental, and in fact in physical illness, but they are the ones for which we are likely to be able to find a solution.

  • Jack Nicholls 11th Oct '19 - 7:04am

    Thank you so much for putting this out there Caron, and to all our other leading lights who have done similar. Whenever someone talks honestly about who they are and what they have been through, the world shines a little brighter.
    One thing we should perhaps think about: I am not as involved in the party as I’d like to be because of anxiety – sometimes with a small ‘a’, the newness of the experience, the feeling like you are the only newbie in a room of veterans, the imposter syndrome – and sometimes with a big ‘A’. I know a good number of people who feel the same, both in our party and of a red, blue or green persuasion. All parties need to find ways to help different people with different strengths and needs get involved, and as champions of the individual and the opponents of one-size-fits-all, our party should be trailblazers in conduct as well as in policy. Not everyone is a natural-born doorknocker, and a few doors worth of shadowing and then being left to it, or observed doing it, will potentially spike anyone’s anxiety whether they have a clinical diagnosis or not. Removing stigma and widening awareness is vital and excellent, but it needs to be turned into real proactive effort by organisations and institutions. We should start with ourselves.
    Keep up the fantastic work, and huge props for coming through and being open about what sounds like a painful few months.🙂🔶

  • “I feel incredibly anxious today”
    The usual response to this is for the GP to reach for his prescription pad and write a prescription for tranquilizers. These can be harmfully addictive. Other methods of treatment need to be made available in dealing with anxiety and depression.

Post a Comment

Lib Dem Voice welcomes comments from everyone but we ask you to be polite, to be on topic and to be who you say you are. You can read our comments policy in full here. Please respect it and all readers of the site.

This post has pre moderation enabled, please be patient whilst waiting for it to be manually reviewed. Liberal Democrat Voice is made up of volunteers who keep the site running in their free time.

If you are a member of the party, you can have the Lib Dem Logo appear next to your comments to show this. You must be registered for our forum and can then login on this public site with the same username and password.

To have your photo next to your comment please signup your email address with Gravatar.

Your email is never published. Required fields are marked *

*
*
Please complete the name of this site, Liberal Democrat ...?

Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael Hall 19th Oct - 9:17pm
    Peter Hayes I would suggest a council tax bill in father's name plus your parents' marriage certificate. This will have your mum's signature on it,...
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 19th Oct - 8:28pm
    My son lives and votes in Sheffield Hallam. He rang up to say that he was recovering from the shock of discovering that he had...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 19th Oct - 7:58pm
    @ Rob Cannon My information (The Guardian) is that Mr Lloyd voted today with his former Lib Den colleagues. Please correct me if I am...
  • User Avatartheakes 19th Oct - 7:54pm
    Eastbourne MP supported the amendment today! Or am I missing soemthing?
  • User AvatarRoss McLean 19th Oct - 7:46pm
    Jared O'Mara apparently turned up in Parliament today. I'm going to say something I never thought I'd say, but well done him. He obviously thought...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 19th Oct - 7:26pm
    Rob Cannon, Stephen Lloyd is keeping his promise made to his constituents. He is Liberal to the core. Once he has discharged his promises I...