The Understand Me Award – My Understanding

Dear Readers, this is my post for my Understand Me Award, so you can also take this as an example!

Why I’d Like To Remove The Stigma:

I’d like to remove the stigma that comes with mental illness, because I felt a lot of my time was taken up by trying to make those I’m closest to understand what I go through. I know it’s hard, because they haven’t been through it themselves. Some now understand me, no longer tell me to “snap out of it” and have made me feel like I can talk to people about how I feel, rather than either always reverting to this blog or merely saying nothing at all. Some I still feel fail to understand, and so it’s still an ongoing battle for me to try and find a way for other people to understand mental illness. When people don’t, sometimes it does make me feel very alone. Being misunderstood makes me feel like I’m strange or out of the ordinary, but I’m not alone!

Specifically, I Suffer From:

I suffer from Anxiety and Panic disorder. I’ve not been diagnosed with depression, although there have been moments in my past where I have felt quite depressed. Anxiety makes me feel anxious for unnecessary reasons in unnecessary situations. Such as today, where I spent about two hours crying panicking over what I’m going to do with my future, when realistically I have 2 years (or even forever!) to decide. I also suffer with panic attacks and panic disorder. This means I have regular panic attacks, or at least I used to (and still suffer from them, just cope with them a lot easier nowadays), mostly, these were nocturnal panic attacks which meant that I was lacking in sufficient sleep, because I panicked during my sleep and would wake up up to 4/5 times a night with a panic attack. But, I also have panic attacks which stimulate from being in certain places where I have previously had a panic attack. For example, I used to have panic attacks in my band practise room, because I had had one when I was first there and felt anxious about singing. So, every time I went to band practise I found myself having a panic attack yet still attempting to sing. I would make excuses sometimes, or just not sing for 20 minutes until I felt more relaxed.

A Stigma Statement I Want To Fight:

“Snap out of it.”

I had a lot of “snap out of it! Stop being so miserable!” when I first started suffering from my panic attacks and my anxiety got worse. I felt like trying to explain to other people that I couldn’t just snap out of it, made them even more angry and annoyed with me. This was because often this would lead them to saying, “yes you can! don’t be so defeatist!” The truth is, it’s no good telling someone to get a grip and snap out of it, when mental illness makes you feel so demotivated and as if you’re being weighed down all the time. It’s really difficult to escape from those negative thoughts sometimes, and telling us to snap out of it when we mentally and physically can’t in those moments does wind up making us feel even worse.

On A Positive Note:

I decided I didn’t want to live like this any more, and wanted to try hard to find something that would remove those negative thoughts and input positive thoughts. So I feel like, if others could suggest ideas in HOW to ‘snap out of it’ and join us with the idea. Or understand how difficult it is to actually get out of that rut of a negative mindset – it could stop people from suggesting we snap out of it, and make more time for spending more time with those who suffer with mental illness, or trying to motivate that person with things to try and slowly become more positive. It isn’t an overnight thing where we randomly decide it should go away and it does. It is in the end, an illness! So the best ways to combat an illness is to find a cure. The cure could be anything for that person, from meditation to colouring. But for someone to be there to try and help us find new things to try to combat it, would be better than someone telling us off for not being able to switch of negativity instantly. It’s just the same as telling someone to turn off a tummy bug!

My Recommendations/What I’d Like To Try:

I’ve tried counselling, and although at first I don’t think it helped, it definitely was something extra to keep me feeling positive in the end. I enjoy writing down any scraps of positive thoughts in a journal to look back at, colouring, meditating, exercising, staying organised, listening to music and blogging! All these things help me calm down, but it was a very gradual process to get myself motivated enough to do so. It’s a long journey out, but it’s worth it. I’d love to hear about other methods of relaxing though!

Screenshot 2015-04-14 11.07.26

I specifically award this to…

Rapunzel! (athena)

Effortlessjess

L0uFrench

And everyone else reading this!

Here’s what you have to do:

1) Take this award, add it to your blog, and award it to as many or as little bloggers as you like – with or without mental illness.

2) To whomever receives this award, I want you to write a post titled however you like, but I want you to talk about your experiences with mental illness, in order for others to understand mental illness. With your post, I want you to talk about understanding those whom suffer mental illness either from your experience personally, or that of a friend. Or just take on board the post however you like! (Please refer to my example post later tonight if you want something more guided) When I say mental illness, I mean anything. Not just depression, or schizophrenia, or panic disorder, anorexia – I mean all of them. I mean any mental disorder or illness you have had any experience with yourself, or if you know someone close to you, or know a lot about it. I want these posts to also remain POSITIVE to show the strength of yourself or someone you know for going through mental illness. My aim is to remove the stigma that comes with mental illness – or at least try inspiring people to speak out about it in order to aid removing the stigma even a little bit, that’s better than nothing! 🙂

3) Just remember to include this list at the bottom of your post, and make it a post that could help people understand mental illness, and stop the stigma.

4) If you take part, I will be creating a separate page on my blog and I’ll attempt to include and reblog ALL of the ‘Understand Me Award’ posts on that page, so you can all check out each other’s posts in one place 🙂

5) I don’t have any goals for this yet, hey, it could go down like a lead balloon. But I want to give it a go. Let’s see how far this can go in 4 weeks time!

6) Tag each of your posts with #UnderstandMe / #UnderstandMeAward either on wordpress or twitter so I can find all your posts and share them on my blog! Or message me through here, just make sure I can find it so I can share it!

7) ANYONE can be awarded the award to take part in this, and I completely welcome all to award themselves with it to then award others! In fact, I award you all right now!

8) Don’t forget to link back to my blog/this post/another understanding me post I’ll have done/reposted!

9) Don’t feel excluded even if you’re not a teen. I only direct this at teens because of being a teen myself and my teen orientated blog, but I’d love all ages to take part. Mental illness doesn’t strike at a particular age, so please feel free to join in!

Whim xoxo

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