Time to Talk day February 1st 2018.
This is a day focused on mental health, specifically, the importance of speaking to others about how you feel. There are too many of us out there who keep our thoughts and our worries bottled up, due to various reasons, however it goes without saying that this is incredibly unhealthy and, no matter how strong we think we are, all that we keep bottled up eventually has adverse effects on our mental wellbeing.
For me personally, this day cannot be more important. As the founder of Break the Chains, I find it important to speak about my own personal issues to show others who are going through difficult times that they are not alone, and that there may be others out there that are experiencing similar things to them.
When I was younger, I never used to express or share my true feelings due to a false belief that nobody cared, but also, because I felt that I should not burden others with my problems. For many people this is also the case, but regardless of the cliché, everyone’s feelings are valid and no matter how small or insignificant you may personally think your issues are, they matter. If something is on your mind then you should confide in someone that you trust, because they do care. I have first-hand experience that the more you keep to yourself the more it all intensifies, there is no outlet, there’s no release and, in my case, it led to intensifying depression and suicidal ideations. Obviously, not everyone will be as susceptible to the feelings of depression, just on the basis of keeping their thoughts and feelings to themselves, however it is best to at least have some sort of regular outlet so it doesn’t result in these extremities.
Internal thoughts and problems can also manifest themselves physically: you may become increasingly tired and lack motivation, feel anger towards others or yourself, all because you have this pent up emotion; it is in no way easy to talk about and as humans in such a complex, fast paced society, where media and the internet influences us on such a grand scale, we are constantly worried about the perception of self and feel like we always need to keep up appearances and stay “on top of things.” This however can have such massive effects on day to day life for many around the world, possibly because everyone’s so caught up in their own thing. So I urge you, anyone who feels as though they’re suffering alone, to talk to someone, no matter how brief, no matter how ‘trivial’ you may think the matter is. You’ll feel so much better for it and the people you may think don’t care, do. They want to help you, they just don’t know that you need it, you have to take that first step.
But also, for those who have noticed a change in behaviour or are worried about someone close to them, talk to them. On one side there, there is still a stigma that exists surrounding mental health, people find it difficult to open up to others about their problems, sometimes they want to be asked, so we need to be vigilant of those around us, and offer support where we can.