The oh so familiar statistic – 1 in 4 of us will have a mental health problem at some point on our lives.
Look around at your friends and family. Using that statistic, that’s probably quite a few.
Now multiply it to apply to the people at work, at university, at school, at the football or on the streets. People with mental health problems are all around us.
Then why does it feel so lonely?
Stigma and a lack of understanding of what mental illness actually is means those of us who suffer from it don’t tend to speak out.
Social media is a great thing – at least for me. I’ve only recently begun to use Twitter to admit I have OCD and to connect to others with mental health problems. It allows me to be who am. It allows me to express my thoughts any time, anywhere.
My family are great but I don’t always want to trouble then especially if I’m just letting of steam. Twitter has opened a door for me in this respect. Often times when a thought or trouble is voiced (or tweeted) it can seem less problematic.
I’m still wary of reading too many other OCD problems in depth in case they then become mine in addition to the myriad I already have. But slowly, slowly, one step at a time I’m making progress. No doubt I’ll take several steps back at various points, but it’s a new avenue that has so far been worth going down.
Twitter has let me find others with different conditions to my own as well as fellow OCD sufferers. What has surprised me is that how, on the face of it, the conditions are all so different yet in the end they’re so similar. All of us have our own daily battles to get through. We all have problematic feelings or thoughts.
I’ve come to realise there really are others out there that truly understand.
It’s nice not to feel so alone.