The Many Faces of Mental Health

This is ME

This is ANXIETY.

This week, I am doing something a little different on my insta. I will be sharing the many faces of mental health. Mental illness does not discriminate & many of us suffer behind closed doors, to scared to be vulnerable, real & honest. Afraid of judgement & our own shame. Well, this week you will meet the many faces of mental health. They will share their stories, their feelings & explain their disorder for you to understand. These are REAL people, who have battled and /or battling through some dark days. They want you to know YOU aren’t alone. They want to know they aren’t alone, so I ask you to embrace them & their vulnerabilities. We are in this together. This is me after a panic attack. They don’t happen very often anymore but at some stages of my life, they were debilitating. I have tried to run off the road a couple of times when you were having an episode. Panic attacks for me, feel like a high. My Adrenalin pumps through my body, my eyes are wired. My palms are sweaty. My chest is full of angst & it’s tight. I have irrational thoughts running over & over in my brain. It feels like I am stuck on a merry-go-round. Going round & round. Watch this week as you meet the many faces of mental health.

Tayla Golesworthy

What do you suffer from?
Social Anxiety

Sentence about your mental health? 
Anxiety is a bitch.

Advice to others suffering
YOU MATTER. I have social anxiety which basically means, conversations, outings, meeting new people etc make me anxious. It sounds silly, right? But it’s not, It’s real. I don’t need medication and you might be the same. Remember just because you are not on medication does not mean you do not suffer. So, no matter the level of your mental health or the type, if you feel it, it is real, even if the world has told you ‘others have it worse’.

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger:
My anxiety feels like my heart is going to explode, but not because its bursting with love… because a thousand tiny horses are stampeding over it. I have Just thinking of a situation can put me in this mindset.

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
Breathing. It sounds so easy, but everyone takes it for granted. Deep breaths in and out. When I feel anxious, I like to use the 5 senses rule- Sight, Taste, Touch, Smell, Hear. I list one of each category and focus on it. It works wonders.

Your insta- @Taylagolesworthy or @herperth_

Liz Currie

What do you suffer from?
I suffer from major recurrent depression. 

Sentence about your mental health? 
My illness almost killed me.

Advice to others suffering
Advice is a tough one. I don’t want to say keep fighting because I hated when people said that when I was struggling. So my advice is to see an actual psychiatrist. Psychiatrists will do a full evaluation of your symptoms to decide which medication will suit you best. 

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger:
My depression feels like darkness, like I will never find light again. Things have improved and I know that isn’t true, but at my worst all I could actually see is the colour black. It also has no trigger, I have never had anything happen in my life to cause it. Some days it’s there and some days it isn’t.

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
Exercise is essential to me. If I go more than a day or two without going to the gym or for a swim, my mood drops significantly. This has obviously been a lot harder since COVID19, but I am trying to use some weights at home, swim in the ocean or go for walks. 

Your insta – @liz.lyfe 

Charlotte Burke

What do you suffer from?
High anxiety disorder and depression

Sentence about your mental health?
Every morning I wake up and wonder, am I going to get through today without breaking down.

Advice to others suffering?
Talk! It doesn’t matter if you talk to yourself, the dog, the cat, your partner, a medical professional, or even just jotting words on a piece of paper. Do not ever think you aren’t good enough because your head tells you so (easier said than done sometimes I know)

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger:
Mental health (when it’s bad) is not being able to breathe properly, can’t concentrate, feel like you’re not good enough and should just run away, I have always  said I have a little devil on my shoulder who tells me how shit and pathetic I am and everyday is a struggle to fight him.

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
Listen to music & meditate

Your insta – @charlyburke

Amy Ridgeway

What do you suffer from?
I suffer from Post Natal Depression.

Sentence about your mental health?
It’s a type of depression that commonly develops after having a baby, roughly 1 in 7 women become affected by it. 

Advice to others suffering?
My advice would be to speak up and talk to someone, it’s a common mental health issue that no one should feel ashamed of! You feel 10 times better after opening up.

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger:
It feels like your on autopilot, no feelings, no emotions just empty. It’s like your looking in on yourself and it’s just lonely; even if your surrounded by people.

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
Exercise. Even if it’s just a walk around the park the fresh air and movement feels amazing after.

instagram: amy_ridgway

Facebook Amy Ridgway

Nicola Oliver

Aston really is what has made everything make a bit more sense to me.

What do you suffer from?
I suffer from PTSD & Anxiety.

Sentence about your mental health?
I developed both PTSD and anxiety (and initially reactive depression) from the unexpected passing of my husband 3 years ago, since then it has been a journey navigating my new normal.

Advice to others suffering?
Find your people; medical professionals for treatment and your tribe of trusted people to be ‘ugly’ around to let it out, never be embarrassed as you are aren’t alone in this.

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger:
Explaining my mental health to a stranger- It is best described as being on a roller-coaster with high highs, low lows, twists & turns and never knowing what will pop up next, it is about being brave enough to hold on and deal with what comes next.

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
What helps me stay sane- Cleaning is my big go to when I am super anxious and big walks with the baby.

Insta Handle – @nix_oliver 

Alison Pretzel

What do you suffer from?
I am currently diagnosed with generalized anxiety disorder, social anxiety, panic disorder, depression, anorexia nervosa and ARFID (selective eating disorder).

Sentence about your mental health?
I don’t remember a time where I felt ‘normal’. I picture my body as a car. I’m a passenger with no breaks on this road called life. For as long as I can remember I have felt numbed out and out of control. I was sitting in the car, watching, waiting for the crash with no control over the wheel.

Advice to others suffering?
Reach out, ask for help. I know it’s cliche but I know personally if I had taken therapy seriously when I first noticed symptoms I wouldn’t be struggling as much 9 years later. Find what works for you and what benefits your mental health, there isn’t a ‘one size fits all’ approach to recovery and sometimes it takes experimenting to find what works best for you.

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger:
My mental health feels like an abusive relationship with myself, like you’re constantly at war with yourself. An enemy taking over your body. My mental health feels like a constant racing heart, sweaty palms and shaky hands. My mental health feels like I’m trapped inside a room of overwhelming emotions, but still feeling empty.

One practice/thing you do that helps you stay sane?
Being passionate about something really helps my recovery and having goals in the future that remind me what I’m living for. My sport (Cheer-leading) has helped me SO much. Having team mates and coaches that rely on me to be staying healthy – mentally and physically – gives me tangible goals to keep me sane.

Insta: @alisonpretzel

FB: Alison Pretzel

Cailtyn Pitmam

What do you suffer from?
I was diagnosed with Bipolar II Disorder in 2012 at 15 years old after struggling basically since puberty started. I also suffer from anxiety and OCD. My main ‘triggers’ are big social events, large crowds and big changes without any prior warnings.

Sentence about your mental health? 
Some days it’s honestly like I’m screaming inside and just can’t get a grip on how I feel and how to handle it, and others I am so strong and can handle anything and be perfectly a-okay.

Advice to others suffering? 
Please don’t feel like you’re alone, you are NEVER alone. It is fully okay to ask for help, seek help and to get help. It is also fully okay to rely on medications/meditation/literally anything you need to get you through the day. You do whatever you have to do to survive. Open all your blinds and windows and breathe in the fresh air, it’s good for the soul.

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger:
To put it really simply, it’s not as “easy” as saying that you feel sad, anxious or even angry for no reason. It’s prolonged periods of sadness/irritability. It’s excessive fear/anxiety that sometimes can’t even be explained rationally, but it’s real and it can be scary. It’s extreme highs of feeling like you’re on top of the world followed by extreme lows of wanting to just disappear. It’s making excuses not to go out with friends so you can sit alone and feel guilty, because leaving the house is sometimes so hard it feels impossible.

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
I always make sure to open up my house and wash my face every morning, even if I don’t get dressed or brush my hair, something about a light and bright house and a clean face just makes everything feel 100x better.

Your insta – Instagram: _caitlynbruce

Kelly Scorey

What do you suffer from?
I developed anxiety about 4 years ago, accumulated from having a hard time at work and hard time in my personal life.

Sentence about your mental health?
My mental health is a balancing act. I have to find that elusive work/life balance otherwise my mental health is the first thing that suffers.

Advice to others suffering?
See your GP. Ask your workplace if they have an Employee Assistance Program so you can access counseling. Talk to those around you. 

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger
My whole body tingles like an adrenaline rush, heart races, I get light headed during an anxiety attack. On a day to day basis I just have to keep an inner monologue going of positive reinforcement.

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
I like to cook dinner after I finish work, listen to podcasts (true crime are my favourite) and decompress alone before hanging with my family. When I feel the anxiety building, like now during COVID, I speak to a counselor and ‘offload’ as I struggle to talk about my feeling with family and friends.

Your insta @klaypipe

Courtney

What do you suffer from?
anxiety and depression 

Sentence about your mental health?
everyday is a challenge but I try my best to think what can I do within my control to not let this get the better of me.

Advice to others suffering?
you may feel lonely isolated and no one cares and it’s hard to think in a dark time who is there for you but there is always someone there for you and to listen reach out , i have more support on Instagram and people who iv never met then i ever thought i would who are so supportive

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
a daily walk helps so much I always underestimate the power of being outside and meditation

instagram – coza151
facebook – courtney.eastwell.568

Elisha Sullivan

What do you suffer from?
I have post natal depression and anxiety as well as post traumatic stress disorder

Sentence about your mental health?
After the traumatic birth of my son, my previous mental health battles reared their head again.

Advice to others suffering?
It’s okay to not be okay and it’s more common than your realise. Once I started opening up to people I trusted I started to learn just how many people around me were also fighting their own mental health battle. Telling someone how I felt was the hardest thing I’ve done but looking back now I’m so glad I did. There is light at the end of this tunnel, I promise.

Explain what your mental health feels like to a stranger?
Imagine having no control over your emotions, you can be fine one minute but then completely irrational the next and you don’t know why. You feel like your on the edge of every emotion 24/7 and it’s completely suffocating. 

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
I exercise, it releases endorphins and is something that is purely only for me – as a new mum that is something I rarely get.

Your insta / Facebook handle, 
elisha.m.sullivan

Trish Cheetham

What do you suffer from?
Anxiety

Sentence about your mental health?
Anxiety used to lead me in life. Now we walk side by side, I see it, I know it’s there. I accept that it is a part of who I am but never ALL that I am.

Advice to others suffering?
Understand what you are suffering from so you can get the right tools/support to help you. Reaching out and getting educated about anxiety led to a huge step forward in my journey.

One practice /thing you do that helps you stay sane?
Writing. Whether it be shopping or to-do list, a journal entry or a note to my wife and daughter. Writing always keeps me grounded.

Your insta / Facebook handle:

@lovedbytwomums / Trish Royale

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