Mental Health

As a mental health sufferer, I am a huge advocate of the issue and will always promote the awareness of this too little talked of subject.

In my wildest dreams I never thought that I would suffer from any mental health illnesses, that is the problem thought, you can never predict when, where or how they are going to strike you.

Following Millie’s passing I was diagnosed with the following;

  • Severe PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Complex Grief

So what are these?

PTSD

If you are involved in or witness a traumatic event, it is common to experience upsetting, distressing or confusing feelings afterwards. The feelings of distress may not emerge straight away – you may just feel emotionally numb at first. After a while you may develop emotional and physical reactions, such as feeling easily upset or not being able to sleep.

This is understandable, and many people find that these symptoms disappear in a relatively short period of time. But if your problems last for longer than a month, or are very extreme, you may be given a diagnosis of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

There’s no time limit on distress, and some people may not develop post-traumatic symptoms until many years after the event. Additionally, not everyone who has experienced a traumatic event develops PTSD.

Data Source: Mind

Anxiety

Anxiety is a word we use to describe feelings of unease, worry and fear. It incorporates both the emotions and the physical sensations we might experience when we are worried or nervous about something. Although we usually find it unpleasant, anxiety is related to the fight or flight’ response – our normal biological reaction to feeling threatened.

We all know what it’s like to feel anxious from time to time. It’s common to feel tense, nervous and perhaps fearful at the thought of a stressful event or decision you’re facing – especially if it could have a big impact on your life.

Because anxiety is a normal human experience, it’s sometimes hard to know when it’s becoming a problem for you – but if your feelings of anxiety are very strong, or last for a long time, it can be overwhelming.

For example:

  • You might find that you’re worrying all the time, perhaps about things that are a regular part of everyday life, or about things that aren’t likely to happen – or even worrying about worrying.
  • You might regularly experience unpleasant physical and psychological effects of anxiety, and maybe panic attacks.
  • Depending on the kind of problems you experience, you might be given a diagnosis of a specific anxiety disorder.

Data: Mind

Depression

Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.

Depression is different from feeling down or sad. Unhappiness is something which everyone feels at one time or another, usually due to a particular cause. A person suffering from depression will experience intense emotions of anxiety, hopelessness, negativity and helplessness, and the feelings stay with them instead of going away.

Depression can happen to anyone. Many successful and famous people who seem to have everything going for them battle with this problem. Depression also affects people of every age.

Half of the people who have depression will only experience it once but for the other half it will happen again. The length of time that it takes to recover ranges from around six months to a year or more.

Living with depression is difficult for those who suffer from it and for their family, friends, and colleagues. It can be difficult to know if you are depressed and what you can do about it.

Data: Mentalhealth.org

Complex/Complicated Grief

Complicated grief is an intense and long-lasting form of grief that takes over a person’s life. It is natural to experience acute grief after someone close dies, but complicated grief is different. Complicated grief is a form of grief that takes hold of a person’s mind and won’t let go. People with complicated grief often say that they feel “stuck.” 

For most people, grief never completely goes away but recedes into the background. Over time, healing diminishes the pain of a loss. Thoughts and memories of loved ones are deeply interwoven in a person’s mind, defining their history and coloring their view of the world. Missing deceased loved ones may be an ongoing part of the lives of bereaved people, but it does not interrupt life unless a person is suffering from complicated grief. For people with complicated grief, grief dominates their life rather than receding into the background.

The term “complicated” refers to factors that interfere with the natural healing process. These factors might be related to characteristics of the bereaved person, to the nature of the relationship with the deceased person, the circumstances of the death, or to things that occurred after the death. People with complicated grief know their loved one is gone, but they still can’t believe it. They say that time is moving on but they are not. They often have strong feelings of yearning or longing for the person who died that don’t seem to lessen as time goes on. Thoughts, memories, or images of the deceased person frequently fill their mind, capturing their attention. They might have strong feelings of bitterness or anger related to the death. They find it hard to imagine that life without the deceased person has purpose or meaning. It can seem like joy and satisfaction are gone forever.

Data: Complicatedgrief.org

One thought on “Mental Health

  1. Carole

    Hi, I just want to say thank you for all of the above information. It helped make sense of what I have been suffering through 2015 and confirmed what therapists have told me in recent months. My son died a month before his 4th birthday in 1989 after weeks in intensive care following a bone marrow transplant for leukaemia and I have thought all these years that what I was feeling, having flashbacks, no sleep etc is normal for any mum whose child dies. I never had any counselling at the time as I didn’t want anything to make me ‘feel better’ as it felt like a betrayal of my son’s memory and then suddenly in January last year it all became too much! I couldn’t work (infant teacher), couldn’t go out, cried all the time and had feelings that something bad was going to happen. I also felt like a fraud! What if someone saw me? Why couldn’t I snap out of it? I’d somehow got on with life for my other 2 sons when my youngest son died, so what was wrong with me now?
    Anyway after different therapies for PTSD, anxiety and depression I can see that I am finally on the mend. I am remembering my son instead of the trauma and didn’t understand that this would feel so much better and not at all like a betrayal.
    I think you getting help now will hopefully prevent you going through this years later. I wish I had read your blog many years ago but maybe I wasn’t ready! I wish you and your family all the happiness for the future and only good memories of your beautiful Millie. x

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply

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