Today is #TimeToTalk Day, and I thought I would share my struggles with mental health. I’ve suffered with depression and anxiety throughout my teenage and adult years – that may be a surprise to some, but you can’t always be happy.

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My depression started at uni, though I think it was there before that. I was really excited before going and wanted to get involved in all the clubs and societies, go out drinking during Freshers’ Week and really blossom, hoping not to be so introverted.

But like some things, expectation doesn’t always reflect reality. I was on my own a lot of the time, only joining for pre-drinks and then forgoing the club part because I was too anxious about the crowds. Eventually people stopped asking me to go out and I just sat in my room all day and all night. The early dark skies certainly don’t help, as I vividly remember coming back from a lecture at 5pm, pulling down the blind, getting into bed and staring at the ceiling for a few hours, feeling not even sad, but just nothing.

I don’t want you to think ‘oh poor you’, it was partly my fault that I thought not to get any help. I’m only just realising now, 6 months after finishing uni, that I was actually really lonely and could’ve done with someone to say “what you’re feeling isn’t normal”. My sister always used to ask me whether I felt lonely and I would always say no, as I was too ashamed to admit it and just wanted to bury it.

//pagead2.googlesyndication.com/pagead/js/adsbygoogle.js
(adsbygoogle = window.adsbygoogle || []).push({}); I now don’t keep in contact with many people from uni, because I didn’t give myself the chance to open up to them – I shut them out, and that wasn’t being nasty or anything, I just really didn’t know how to communicate how I was feeling. Eventually I graduated uni and spent some time around my family for a few months, where I finally was able to feel a bit better.

Here’s one thing I’ve learnt about anxiety though, it’s all about overthinking the what-ifs, that won’t happen. If they do happen, you deal with them. One example is when I had to call up journalists to pitch a story to them at work and I always think “are they going to shout at me? will they hang up?” but neither of those thing ever happened and I feel more confident speaking to journalists now.

My anxiety hasn’t gone away yet, I’m still working out how to deal with it. My depression’s better though, as I’m around people a lot more now and really get on with my colleagues at work which really helps lift my spirits if I’m having a day where I’d rather not show my face anywhere. Tonight was a win for my anxiety, as I went out to dinner with people I hadn’t met before and survived, something I wouldn’t have done 6 months ago.

But if there’s one thing I need to say: please reach out to someone if you’re struggling. Don’t suffer in silence or bury your head in the sand. You can talk to me on Twitter if you need to, my DMs are always open.ย 

Hope you’re opening the conversation and ending the stigma.
A K Jones
xx
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10 Comments on My Experience with Mental Health

  1. Go you for opening up and being so honest! Iโ€™ve been there so I can completely understand. But youโ€™ve clearly come so far since then and you should be so proud of yourself! xoSian | sian-kathrine.blogspot.co.uk

  2. My therapist used to say to me, โ€œyou can think of every scenario under the sun, worry about them endless and it will always be the one thing you didnโ€™t think of which will happenโ€. Which in my case has been mostly true. Well done for opening up about your mental health, itโ€™s so important that more people do to try and end the stigma. Although I would say I think itโ€™s perfectly normal to feel lonely at times – I certainly do. I had a similar experience with my friends; I was too anxious about going to pubs and clubs and eventually I stopped getting invited. Itโ€™s a shame nobody took to time to understand why I was saying no, rather than just forgetting about me.Jennyhttp://www.jennyinneverland.com

  3. Thanks Amie, I wanted to raise awareness of these issues and help end the stigma. I'm always here for you too! ๐Ÿ’•Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

  4. Thanks Sian, I hope you're not struggling too badly. I am proud of myself, and I know there'll be times when it creeps back, but I just to try and not let it consume me too much. Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

  5. In hindsight I think I was actually suffering with depression while at uni. During the time I just thought I wasnโ€™t coping with all of the upheaval and dramas!! This post will be so helpful!! Well done girl!!

  6. That's a great quote Jenny, I didn't think about that. Thank you, I feel so much better after writing it down. Amy | hookedonthemusic.com

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