Memo at midnight: Don’t be afraid to talk about mental health

I know, easier said than done, right? I read a lot of blogs about mental health… and food… and cats… and awesome photography…

Photo by Fabian Wiktor on Pexels.com

…ok, not to get distracted here, I do seriously read a lot of blogs in regards to mental health. New bloggers in particular always mention how difficult it’s been for them to talk about what they are going through when it comes to their psychological health. Often they may even feel ashamed or apologetic for feeling depressed, stressed or whatever other bad feelings they may be experiencing.

Talking about mental health isn’t easy if you’re a person who isn’t accustomed to doing so. People in your life have likely made you feel that doing so is bad and akin to weakness. They may refuse to acknowledge your pain–surely you’re just bored or need to get more exercise. You may even be called lazy or unappreciative of life.

When I was growing up, hardly anyone talked about mental health. If you dared to say you were depressed they might say something like the following:

Depressed, ok. Here’s a list of chores. If you’re still depressed after that come see me. I’m sure I’ll think of more by then.

Oh yeah, you think you’re depressed. Go watch the news, now those are things to get depressed about.

Depressed? Go call Grandma.

That was a long time ago though. In the last several years I’ve gotten so used to talking about issues of mental health that I forget that only a short time ago I felt the very same way. I didn’t feel like I had anyone to talk to who would understand what I was going through or at least listen and believe in my pain.

So many people out there are hurting. They head to the internet because they are seeking help and some kind of outlet for their pain. They are searching for people who will believe in them and accept them.

I’m here to say that it can be done. You’re in the right place. Write openly about what you are going through and then seek out people to connect with.

I always keep in mind that I’m not the only one having trouble. A lot of us may be hurting at any given time and we all want the same thing–to connect and be heard.

Life is all about balance isn’t it?

Read more Memos at Midnight

Photo by Elly Fairytale on Pexels.com

38 comments

  1. Oh thank you so much for your kind words! For many years I too was one of those people who suffered alone so I know what it’s like unfortunately. Been doing better lately… and want everyone else to do better as well 🙂

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  2. It is hard to talk about mental health and I feel people need to be more understanding to people with mental health problems, as the stigma still makes it hard to open up. Thanks for sharing this!

    I write blogs on mental health so feel free to check them out!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes, thanks to Covid we have even more of a need to be social without actually meeting in person. It’s also created an increased need for mental health assistance… this situation is driving everyone crazy!
    Well I guess it’s good in one way though… I’ve been getting to know lots of new interesting bloggers, like you! 🙂

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  4. You’re absolutely right about this. For whatever reasons, it’s often harder to talk about mental health than writing about it on a platform where hundreds of unknown people can read and in the rare miraculous moments reach out to you. I think that’s one of the reasons I love blogging so much. It allows you to be yourself without giving you anxiety about what others might think of you, because most of them are strangers anyway.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think you said that perfectly. There’s a lot of safety in anonymity. We can be brave and talk about a lot of personal things and if someone judges us there’s no obligation to ever have to talk to that person again. Thankfully there are a lot of accepting people here 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes there really are, including you. I’m glad I have become more active here these days. I wasn’t so regular with my blog before. With the lockdown I started using it more frequently and it’s been a good experience. ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Naturally, JoAnn, nobody is perfectly sane. We all have our struggles, some minor and others more vexing. Anyone who spends much time on the web realizes this soon enough.

    That universality, and the anonymity the internet grants, makes it ideal for exchanging thoughts and experiences. Person A very well may meet Person B tomorrow, but that’s unlikely. Chances are, they’ll spend the rest of their years without knowingly being, even, in the same state.

    As such, it’s more welcoming than is society at large and, sadly, than are friends and family sometimes. Here, at last, is an opportunity to share impressions and to compare notes. All without having to worry about that knowledge ruining the relationship. Indeed, it often strengthens the association, as it makes a bond of shared vulnerabilities and triumphs.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Very well said! 🙂 Back in the past, I too used to be afraid to talk about my mental health but then I realized that talking about it just makes life so much easier – especially because when you open up to other people, you will learn that you are not alone with the whole thing and there are a lot of people out there who understand the way you feel – and it does help a lot.

    Thank you for sharing this,

    Mark

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re welcome and that’s so true. I guess we tend to assume that people will judge us harshly if we admit to such things. Even though those kind of people are indeed out there, plenty of other people will be accepting and understanding 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I think so many people feel like they are inadequate or unable to deal with life by admitting they have any sort of mental issues. I’m the first one to say that I have serious issues and I work on them all the time. I used to tell my students that the people who said they had NO issues were really the ones with the most work needed!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, its amazing how many people struggle with these kinds of things… and it makes me sad to know how many of people are walking around in silent pain. 😕

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  8. That is precisely why my mother did not get her bi-polarity treated. She did not want to go to a psychiatrist, because only crazy people did that. And then after seeing a psychiatrist, one would be even more crazy. I don’t know where she got that from. I don’t know how it is in other countries, but in Germany only psychiatrists are allowed to prescribe the medicine for the treatment of bi-polar patients. In the end, when she was already 80, I could persuade a doctor to look at her while introducing himself as a neurologist, otherwise she would not have talked to him. Luckily he was also a neurologist, so he didn’t actually lie. Then finally she could be treated. She
    – and as a consequence, my father – could have had a much better life for decades, if she had not had this awful prejudice.
    Instead she got treated by the family physician, meaning that she got pink pills when she was depressed and tranquilizers when she was in her euphoric phase.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow, yes that’s really how it was. My dad was the same way. I’m sure he could have benefited from getting some kind of psychological help as he was so moody and angry all the time. He was a tough guy though and tough guys don’t do stuff like that. We could barely get him to go to a regular medical Dr.

      Makes me sad to think about and I’m so glad that things have been changing!

      In America medical doctors can prescribe medicine for psychological conditions, which is great. Even if someone doesn’t want to see a psychologist at least their medical doctor can try to help them with medication.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Wonderful post. It really is difficult to talk about your mental health in an environment where ill mental health is considered taboo. I wonder if having an online group forum would help people feel as if they had a safe space to connect and share stories/experiences?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you! They do have such forums on The Mighty, Facebook groups and some other sites. I’ve participated in a few but I’ve had the most success connecting with people through my blog. 🙂
        I think it’s because with a blog you can fully express yourself and your thoughts.

        Liked by 1 person

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