Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Christmas and Mental health.

Christmas is a magical time of the year. Family's coming together, decorations going up and untold amounts of food and alcohol are being consumed. Its a time to let your hair down and have fun. That's not like that for people who have Mental Health Illnesses. It's quite different. Yes we help put the decorations up and we do the typical Christmas festivities but most of the time. In My case it's most of the time I don't feel the joyous feeling that Christmas should bring. I feel the dread of the expectations from me. I feel that I should act like everyone wants and be "Normal"  Forget that my Anxiety is crippling me and forget that my Depression is making me want to stay in bed. But that would be frowned upon because Christmas is time for Celebrating and feeling happy. So many Expectations for people who suffer with Mental health illnesses to live up to. What people who don't suffer from Mental health illnesses don't get that any change in our daily routine that we have done day to day can be very hard Or mixing with a lot of people who we don't see in our everyday life can be so challenging. Also all the comment's that people make. I'll say a few to humour myself. "Oh what are you doing with your life now Amy" " You still can't be ill" It's like they think we choose this. It's pretty sad that they don't understand the concept of Mental Illness. We try hard every day but I find in the Christmas month we have to try even harder to stay on track. We learn from a very young age that Chrsitmas is a "happy time" And it is to a certain extent. I do still feel the warmth from it all but it's not all the time. I Might get a little excited for a minute and then go back to feeling how I did a minute later. Just because it's Christmas our Mental health issues don't go away and neither should it be expected of us. One of the main triggers in most people that I've talked to or know that have Mental health problems is STRESS.  Stress isn't good for anyone let alone a person with a mental health illness. It just brings more worry for that individual. Not everyone has brilliant families not everyone has that support around them. For most people who suffer mental illness they feel like they are getting judged because they aren't smiling or they aren't laughing and goofing around or They are smiling and laughing and keeping it all inside because they feel that they have to keep the sprit going. It's the same in my Family. Christmas has to be perfect so we all have to be "happy"

I think the point of this post is to remind me and other people who suffer from mental health illness that it's okay not to be all "happy" and excited for Christmas and don't let family members/ friends try and take control of your feelings. You be how you want to be because Mental Health isn't a choice. You can't help if you are having a bad day. Mental health illness isn't just going to give you a break because it's Christmas. Wouldn't it be nice if it did. Try and stick to what makes you feel comfortable and don't do too much at once because in the long run it will have an affect. You do you and that's perfectly fine. I do try and push myself a little to join in and be with everyone but I'm not going to make myself in even a worse position just for a couple of days. Don't make Christmas the be all and the end all. Do things that YOU enjoy. If you don't want to be stuck in the house and your mental illness isn't causing you stress being outside mixing with the public volunteer at a soup kitchen or a charity because I no a lot of charities need people at this time of year. Make sure you have that special person you can contact anytime if you are struggling more then usual and if you don't I will link all helplines at the end. Christmas is a Difficult time so don't put anymore pressure on yourselves. Do what makes you comfortable and don't let anyone tell you how you feel because only YOU know how you feel. If you need take some time away. Have a nap, Take a walk or just do something you enjoy. And just remember that you are not alone in feeling like this. It's more common then you think.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and Remember the most important thing is to stay HEALTHY. Mentally and Physically.

Samaritans open 24hrs and free phone. UK  116123
Samaritians Website.

If you are under 18 teen
Childline. You can either ring, Chat to a online counsellor or post something on the message boards to get advice from people in similar situations.
Phone number 08001111
Childline's website

This site is useful if you want to find out more about the symptoms you are experiencing. Any information you need about mental illnesses.  They do have a helpline but they are closed during the Christmas period.
Mind's website

If you do have to use a Helpline this Christmas it's nothing to be ashamed of. You are just getting the support you need. I have used CHILDLINE AND SAMARTIANS. They are the most loveliest of people. They sit and listen and give advice on what to do regarding the situation. It's all confidential the only time they have to break that is If you are in Harm of hurting yourself or others.



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