I've been thinking recently about how society is changing and how mental health and physical health go side by side. Its only probably over the last couple of years that mental health has been spoken about in the public forum. It used to be that people suffered in silence. I had a friend who I went to Air Cadets with, but also came to my boxing club, when I was a teenager took his own life due to things deteriorating in his life, of which I wont go into as it would be disrespectful of his memory. He was always a fun guy and really intelligent. There were no warning signs, but to be honest I was a teenager and wouldn't have known what to look for, it is only where mental health treatment has progressed has it become more apparent of the issues in society, only recently did Prince Harry and Prince William come forward in the Heads Together campaign and bring this issue to the forefront by talking about how they suffered after there Mother's death, the late Lady Diana. Although this was horrendous for them, they have come forward, which I think will now help other people who have been suffering to come forward and admit they have an issue. Did you know Johnny Wilkinson, Freddy Flintoff, Vinnie Jones, Professor Green, Ricky Hatton to name a few have had mental health issues. It is nothing to be ashamed of and after all we are all human and back in the first and Second World War , soldiers were suffering with shell shock and deserting the military or committing suicide, but also being admitted to Hospital, we now know this to be PTSD, which is where you continue to suffer after the event and it replaying in your head or manifesting in different ways, leaving the person constantly on alert or in state of anxiety and panic attacks all the time, but also negative messages being given to person through one reason or another.
We have more and more people suffering from depression due to one reason or another of which I am not a Doctor. I do know other peoples death or traumatic events can have a massive effect on your psyche, therefore keep a look out for your friends and family and if there is a change in their behavior, ask them whats going on, a chat can go a million miles and helps the person to unload, but also know your limitations as professional help is worth its weight in gold, don't get me wrong I am not saying don't be there for someone, simply I am saying get them to go to a Doctors, they are the person with the experience to steer them in the right direction and you can help along the way, along side their treatment, be that medication, talking therapy, exercise, CBT.
If you can help another person from becoming insular and isolated or god forbid anything worse from happening, be there for each other.
I have a great group of friends who I make the time to check in on and talk, they also do the same for me. You know who you are and you are amazing.
What can we do to help ourselves and others:
Mindfulness, this a great set of relaxation exercise for the the brain and nervous system
Exercise, whatever you enjoy
Diet, as the higher amount of fat we have on or body ( especially Men) can change how our nervous system functions, for example of men our estrogen levels increase and testosterone decrease and has been linked to depression
Multivitamins and minerals, if this isn't coming from you diet it is good to supplement to keep your body balanced
Sunlight, vitamin D, which you get a lot of from sunlight, has been found to help with depression and anxiety, but also general all round well being
Get out of your room and the house, firstly sunlight, secondly fresh air and not keeping your self shut in
Ring up a buddy to chat and get your woes out there, you never know they might have been or being going through the same thing
Check in on your support network, after all it isn't a one way street and wouldn't be fair if it didn't work both ways
Chat to your Doctor
Find a therapist, if you need one
Work out a short and long term treatment plan
One of the greatest things I have heard,which actually was from Freddy Flintoff in a documentary called mental health in Sport, he said" if you have a broken arm, you go the fracture clinic, if you have tooth pain you go to a dentist, so if you have a problem with your head/brain you go the Doctor" Simple really
After all you are amazing and need to value yourself, if people didn't think you were amazing they wouldn't be around you.
As always much love