Family and Friends, Lend Me Your Ear!
Updated: Aug 5, 2019
This is a Blog that I have been wanting to do. Even though we have mental illness we have to also give thought to relatives and friends that the issue can affect. I'm not downplaying the mental issue you may have, let's face it I have mental health issues myself. But being around somebody that you love and care about, that has mental health has got to hold a number of emotions for them too. Worry, fear, anger, frustration, just to name a few.
I know that my immediate family in my house are affected by my anxiety, panic and depression. Especially when my wife first started to see me like it. In fact it was she who called through to a medical facility at around 3 am because I was having a major panic attack. Crying uncontrollably and in complete riveting fear, I had no clue really what was going on. Even though I had been living with an issue for many years while in London, I still had no answers as to what it was. Whoever my wife spoke to had an answer of Anxiety and Panic. Depression really wasn't heavy at this point, but now we knew what it was.
I can only imagine not only the fear and questions I was feeling and had, but also the unanswered questions that my wife had also. How do you explain to anybody what you are going through when you don't have a clue yourself? So, my wife has been my rock. Fully supportive and loving. I have put her through a great deal of pain and frustration through the years. As somebody that suffers, I can understand how other mental health sufferers must worry what pain they put their loved ones through too.
Best thing a supportive loved one can give is love and compassion. It's knowing we are loved that helps. Sometimes not even words need be said. A loving hug and we get the message. We are not looking for things to be fixed, just support and love. We understand your frustration but raising voices and telling us what we SHOULD do does not help. In fact, it makes us worse, because if we could we would be doing it. Reason I put should in Bold is because the word is a very direct word. Its like pointing a finger at somebody. I don’t know where we would all be if it wasn't for my Family and friends support. Trust me, we with Mental Health Thank You for standing by us and being there.
If you are a parent of a child with mental health or signs of maybe some issue that you haven't seen before, please seek help. It's much better to know what the issue is and how to deal with the issue then to let time pass with no action. I was about 5 years old the first time I can remember, but had no idea what it was until I was in my late 20’s. Education in what it is and how to handle the situations that arise is key. Don’t push your child into a situation that YOU FEEL they “should not” be afraid of. Just because YOU think it is not a problem does not mean that your child agrees. Somewhere in the subconscious mind, your child sees it as an issue. It could be something as “Simple” as picking up a phone and calling somebody, which is one of my anxieties. Or even answering the phone. It's not your mind, its theirs.
Look for behaviors like withdrawal, uneasy behavior around groups of people, anger issues (outbursts), crying for “no reason”, avoidance of school, not being able to mix with friends, not going out playing and a host of other signs. If you do a google search you will find others, which I highly recommend. Don’t just take it as one of those things. Do some research please and educate yourself.
I'm also a big believer and supporter of mindfulness being used in Schools. but there is opposition. Again look this up. I don't want to get into a political or religious argument here so check it out and come up with your own opinions. Bullying causes a great deal of mental issues too. Listen to your children. Pay attention to what they are saying and address these bullying issues promptly. Children have committed suicide due to bullying and it could of been avoided. I was bullied up to around 16 years old. I Have some anger and rage problems because of it too.
Friends of somebody with Mental Health, we all thank you for your loving support. I know I have friends and extended family that have stuck by me through good and real bad times. If you do not hear from a mate in a while, then please send a quick message to make sure they are OK. It does not take long and could be the one thing somebody needs. It shows you love and care about them. So a message on a voicemail, or a text or any other kind of communication app you may use goes a long way to showing you love that person. It could even save a life.
So a BIG THANK YOU to all those that support us with mental health. It does not go unnoticed. We feel your compassion and love.