Over the past few years there have been great National efforts to encourage and support the conversation about mental health. 
When I was growing up Mental Health problems were scary and not something that happened to anyone we knew. My mother was terrified when my sister started displaying unusual behaviours and refused to take her for support because she firmly believed that if “authorities” caught wind of this my sister would be locked up and the key thrown away. 
My sister had and still has schizophrenia . She really really really needed professional support and eventually this was taken out of my mother’s hands of course but the fear was real. I would not imagine there would have been much support had I expressed any of the negative feelings I ever experienced as a child to my mother especially if Id suggested anything along the lines of anxiety or depression ! 
Young people at the moment are growing up in an environment where they are supported in the whole to express how they feel. They see many celebrities and hg profile people in the world taking about their mental health, their anxiety, their depression. Each one of these messages reassuring them that this is ok, this is not something they need to be ashamed of. Whether this is a true reflection of how it actually is for these young people is unknown by me but I am hopeful that these mental health campaigns are making a positive change. 
On the flip side of this there is a view that talking about mental health so much is leading people to believe they have mental health problems when they don’t. Apparently everyone is now an expert and self-diagnosis of anxiety and depression is everywhere. 
There certainly is a lot of information out there available for us to see about Mental Health. How much of this is helpful? Google your bad back and a few clicks further you could have anything from sciatica to slipped disks to possible kidney failure so the possibility that mental illnesses are being misdiagnosed in this way is real. 
So with all this overwhelming and conflicting information out there how are we ever supposed to know what’s going on? It’s a little like a covid guidance announcement. 
Talk…but don’t dwell. Don’t talk if you don’t want to, but its best you do but only of the space is safe. 
Think happy thoughts but not if you cant think happy thoughts. There is no pressure to be happy but you should do it if you can. 
Its absolutely ok to not be ok but if you are not ok this could be because of many factors and f you need help you should seek help but help might not be available. 
Any clearer ? 
This is where I stand on this one:  
If something sad or upsetting happens in your life, feeling sad or upset would be an emotion you can expect to feel. 
If something scary happens to you then feeling scared is an emotion you can expect to feel. 
If something exciting happens in your life, expect to feel excited ! 
If you are trying something new or something risky then expect to feel nervous. 
If you are doing too many things and not taking enough rest then you could expect to feel stressed and overwhelmed. 
This is not an exhausted list of course but I am sure you get where I am going with this. 
These emotions can be strong, they can effect our overall wellbeing, our decision making and sometimes our physical health. They are reactive emotions to our environment. Talking about these emotions with people you trust is really helpful. This allows you to find perspective, it allows you to take action, it allows you to take that emotion from your mid and it helps to stop you ruminating and adding to the emotions and making them bigger. 
Doing other things that support our mental health such as exercising, eating well, doing things we enjoy, getting enough rest just to name a few will also help to alleviate these emotions and in time they will pass and change. 
Doing these things is supporting your mental health. Doing these things is relieving stress on your mind and your body. This does not necessarily mean that you have a mental health condition and this may be where the confusion can arise from. Taking care of your mental health does not need to mean that you have a mental illness. 
But…strong emotions about stressful and significant events in your life do have the potential to develop into something more serious if not cared for. 
I will use myself as an example. For many years I kept my emotions to myself. I felt ashamed to talk about them and to let people know what stressful things were happening in my life and for a while this was ok. But eventually it wasn’t and all those hidden emotions worked there way into a massive mess in my mind which did result in me developing anxiety and depression. These symptoms were present even on the days when nothing bad was happening. These symptoms were present even on really brilliant happy days. 
In conclusion I think the efforts to raise awareness of mental health and encourage us to talk about how we feel and seek support is a brilliant move ! It will never be a bad thing to let out your emotions and take care of your mind in which ever way you choose to do that. 
I do not think that talking about mental health will make more people have or think they have mental health illnesses in fact if we do this right folks the mental illness will reduce. 
As always remember I am here to answer any of your questions or “talk “ through any issues that may have arisen for you. 
Questions, or comments? I'm here to help. You can leave a comment or query below, or contact us if you want a confidential conversation. 
Tagged as: Self Care
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