If like me, you suffer with any form of mental health issue, and help care for aging parents, sick relatives etc., you may have discovered that there are lots of online forums for people who care for people with mental health issues, but not for the carers suffering with mental health issues.
In the past this has made me feel very alone. I’m sure now that I’m not the only one who has felt this way. Social media groups can have people from all over the world in them and they may have a suggestion for overcoming something you are finding difficult. Different countries/cultures have different ways of dealing with anxiety etc. and you may surprise yourself at the different ways people use to help battle through the day.
Talking to the people that you help care for will improve the situation for everyone. In my case, I learned that if I’m not looking after myself mentally, I am unable to help look after my parents to the best of my ability. By taking on all the tasks, I wasn’t letting my parents do what they were capable of, making everyone more anxious and unhappy.
"Then one day I felt so alone, I couldn't even talk to my friends about what was on my mind so I posted how I felt on one of these group pages and guess what? Nothing bad happened to me by talking about it."
I joined a few groups on facebook that were for sufferers of all kinds of mental health (I changed my profile pic to one of my dog to remain anonymous lol) and for a long time I just read about other peoples problems and how they got through it. Then one day I felt so alone, I couldn't even talk to my friends about what was on my mind so I posted how I felt on one of these group pages and guess what? Nothing bad happened to me by talking about it. The reverse happened, people from all over the world were saying they were going through the same or they had some type of advice to try help control my anxiety and dark thoughts. Some worked, some didn't but I didn't feel so alone after that post. Knowing you are not alone is a good feeling. If a post comes up I think I can help or give advice about ill try and help, sometimes having a huge conversation with someone in a different country about how to control social anxiety or just congratulating someone from being issue free for X amount of days. Helping each other is a good thing and it could give you the confidence to go through the day.
Look on your preferred search engine for groups that are a platform for communicating with other mental health warriors. Some of these can be anonymous so you can be as blunt as you like without feeling like the world will know it was you who wrote it.
If you would like to write a blog post about your experiences of stigma or related issues, email firstname.lastname@example.org