This week, some of our Time to Talk Champions are discussing their experiences of mental health and why they wanted to get involved in the project to help to tackle stigma and discrimination. Here is the fifth blog post in our series!
“What Experiences of Mental Health Problems Have You Had in the Past?”
I first experienced anxiety and depression in my teens, following on from a health scare. I was close to having a breakdown and did not really understand what was happening to me. Later on, I was diagnosed with Generalised Anxiety Disorder (GAD), health anxiety and social anxiety, all of which has had a big impact on my everyday life. I had Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) treatment and am now in a much better place for the most part, although I have had several anxiety relapses over the last 10 years.
My initial experiences left me very isolated as my friends did not understand my illness and because I didn’t look any different to before, many did not even believe that there was anything wrong with me. This further impacted on my state of mind and probably had the effect of making things worse. I’d like to think that they would have reacted differently if they had been better informed about mental health and that they would have supported me to get better but unfortunately this was not the case in reality.
“What Have Your Experiences of the Project Been Like?
I was so pleased to see the Time to Talk project launch and am thrilled to be involved in tackling mental health stigma and discrimination. My fellow Champions are nothing short of inspirational! It is so inspiring to see so much support for the project and to be part of something that will hopefully bring about greater change. I really hope that it helps more people to be open about mental health and to stop so many people suffering in silence.