Talking about mental health helps yourself and others

Depression and anxiety are a part of my life. These are just two of a huge variety of mental health problems which are just that – health problems, like asthma, glaucoma or tinnitus.

Like other health problems, sometimes the mental health problems of your colleagues, family or friends require additional consideration. They don’t mean your colleague/friend/family member are weak, not trying, or needy. They just mean they might take a little longer to do that task, or might need help, or many other considerations.

You may not realise this, but you’re likely surrounded by people who deal with mental health problems every day. We’re everywhere, and many of us manage to do a great job and never tip you off to our daily struggle.

We don’t want your sympathy (although sometimes a hug can do wonders to be honest), but we really need your understanding. Don’t assume our condition means we’re are less capable, but understand that sometimes we are going to need some consideration, just like an asthma sufferer might need to sit out the team-building shuttle run around the car-park, or the chronic back-pain sufferer might need to skip the group go-carting activity.

De-stigmatising mental health problems is so important, which is why Alice Howarth from the Skeptics with a K podcast is my hero for speaking about her experiences in this episode (about half-way through the audio):

Trigger warning for depression, anxiety and self-harm (that’s an example of a consideration – people can actually spiral when unexpectedly exposed to triggers for memories or emotions relating to their past trauma. Scoffing or ridiculing trigger warnings indicates you haven’t yet learned to be considerate, but keep working at it, you’ll get there).

Skeptics with a K is a podcast dedicated to the promotion of critical thinking and scientific skepticism. It definitely contains swearing, but we are adults so…


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