Hello guys, I am the founder behind Seek A THerapy with it being ‘let’s talk mental health’ day I guess I felt that now is a good time to let you know who I am and my thoughts on the mental health ‘crisis’.
For quite a long time now many of us have been speaking about mental health, what it is, what conditions exist, by god there have even been full blown movies based on mental health conditions to help raise awareness. All this is fantastic and all very positive stuff but the real importance of the timetotalk campaign, I believe, is to realise it is okay to speak out to anyone that you aren’t coping with life’s challenges when they become too much and that it is perfectly okay! There is always someone who will listen to you whether a family member, a friend, your GP or a charity and no one will think you are stupid and you shouldn’t feel ashamed, it is completely fine.
A brief look at my story – speak out or…write it down
This was me about 4 months after my severe breakdown. A year before this time I had a serious breakdown…
After graduating from Architecture at the foot of the 2008 recession (which was very disappointing) I decided to retrain as a teacher in 2009 only to experience in 2010 work place bullying, manipulation and lies which pushed my feelings of life’s despondency. No money, no hope for the future after a 7 year higher education, it felt like a huge failure twice.
At that point I remember not wanting to be here anymore…the good thing was that although I felt detached from reality I did tell my mother and she took me to the doctors where I was clinically diagnosed at high risk of suicide.
Actually, I took a test which put me two points off a full score of being sectioned into a psychiatric hospital. Fortunately, I had a very support family so that never needed to happen…why then did a year later I have a severe breakdown?
Well I NEVER let bullies or mean people win no matter what and I pushed myself to go back into the school environment even though I now associated the environment with bad experiences and I had been completely put off the career of teaching. I also felt like I was completely lost with no money, no job opportunity, a bad relationship and 7 years of a tough education…I remember wanting to start life all..over…again. My future felt like it was already broken and nothing I had done was to blame other than having bad experience after bad experience.
So back in the summer of 2011 after I completed my teaching degree I had the realisation that the last seven years of my life I had spent trying to educate myself, only to end up with neither an architecture or teaching career but a 30k debt, a relationship that wasn’t good for me and my health, not even that was good…I started to shake and my mind began to race. I began having cold sweats, lots of regrets and praying for some help from someone, somewhere. My life was a mess.
Once again I rang up my family and told them I didn’t want to be here anymore…my mother is a holistic therapist herself and she always offers good advice so suggested I write down everything in my head , completely empty it of all thoughts and actually it gave some sense of release.
I took this list and then gave it to the GP and began explaining my problems until… I completely broke down in the GPs office. I was rocking backwards and forwards in the chair, crying quite uncontrollably, I was a literal wreck whilst a trainee doctor was also watching me having a full blown breakdown (I guess she had to learn about it as some stage, so best to start early. lol)!
I ended up going back to my parents home where for several months I was mostly sleeping as my mind was completely exhausted.
What you can learn from my experience
I guess why I have discussed my story very briefly was for two reasons. One is to suggest at one point I was very very ill and now I am in a much better and happier place and able to create this website to share with you what I explored along my journey and continue to learn…we never stop learning and developing.
Having my experience also gave me lots of empathy for people suffering, determination and motivation to try and make a difference in the world so others have help and support and a website that can offer direction to healing and understanding regardless of where you are in the world.
Secondly, I shared the story so you realise when you are feeling very depressed to the point of not wanting to be here, write down how you feel.
This action can help release the negativity from your mind and onto paper whilst also giving you something to hand to your GP should you be unable to talk about how you are feeling or fearful that your ‘happy face’ that we wear to the outside world will look like you are not depressed.
It is a good starting point to identifying how to heal and a GP/ can take it for their records and also help a lot of counsellors and therapists identify remedies to get your health back on track.
Lastly, from my experience rather than suffer alone PLEASE tell anyone, anyone at all, how you are feeling and listen to their advice, if they don’t believe you speak to someone else. If you need to, speak to a mental health charity, they truly care and many have been in the position you are in and only want you to find the path to recovery too so you can find some contentment in life.
Many of us now know 1 in 4 of us will have a mental health crisis at some point in our life and actually…I believe these are the stats from the people who register themselves in need of help. Many go unregistered particularly in Asia, so I imagine the numbers could well be more!
When you have health problems of any type, physical or mental it is good to educate yourself and discover how things work or explore different therapies.
It is something that happened to me, I became fascinated by the mind, how to strengthen it, how to give peace to yourself, how to become more confident, how to build a life you want to live, how to appreciate the importance things in life, becoming more grateful, care less too, being less fearful, being more spiritual and learning how to be light hearted.
It is now something that is a huge passion of mine and the blessing that has come from my difficulty is I am learning so much and I have a hunger for more and more new knowledge that my two degrees gave me, a mind that always wants to learn and understand, so now I understand those past experiences although difficult gave me my passion and direction.
Trying to educate ourselves about how to maintain good mental health is important and must be talked about as much as we talk about different mental health conditions. In fact I believe we MUST talk about that more than the actual feelings and difficulties of the mental illnesses.
Let’s talk about mental health…and how to gain better mental health
I understand how painful, actual physical pain, you suffer from depression and anxiety and how exhausting it can be to to do just the most simple things and why now I create these blogs, share videos and inspirational images in the hope it may inspire you or educate you into looking further into things yourself.
There are many many therapies and many understandings and beliefs about how to heal the mind from great thought leaders around the world, how to find peace of mind and where to look for help.
The most important decision you can make today is to talk to somebody. YOU have to choose to start to heal, you have to choose to want to find the answers to your problem.
There is a chinese proverb
A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step
When you have any form of mental illness it can feel like any form of ‘wellness’ is a thousand miles away but the first step is in your reach and that step is this…
…please talk about your mental health to somebody, anybody. We all want to help you find some peace again. It is possible, keep believing, keep having hope.
John – Founder of Battle of Mind & Find Your Therapy