I saw a great study about mental health awareness week about thriving or surviving with mental health and it made me think about the stigma surrounding mental health. Not only in the media, in society, but also in my own head.
I’ve constantly thought of my depression and anxiety as a negative, and while, of course it is – it’s a symptom of it and really the cause of it in so many ways, there are some very small positives.
While I’m constantly exhausted by the amount my brain is thinking and overthinking, I often come up with my best ideas. Creatively, when I’m ‘manic’ and ‘hectic’ and sometimes a little uncontrollable, I have a flurry of ideas and plans I want to do.
The issue is, the depression brings me down to not be able to focus on these ideas and often dismiss them quite quickly. My partner, Matt, recently told me to write them down and come back to them at a later date. I’ve been doing that for a while now and I’ve managed to actually act on some of my ideas or at least think it through properly before dismissing it all together.
I also feel like the depression gives me a heightened sense of empathy and I seem to be able to pick up when something may be wrong with others quicker than before. However, the disadvantage is sometimes I blame the wrong on myself or assume too quickly that something is wrong when actually it could be swept very quickly under the carpet. It’s the mountain out of a molehill situation.
While the study on thriving vs surviving reflects a study of the UK’s mental health, I still think it’s a nice little way to think about it. Maybe, while sometimes we feel like we’re ‘surviving’ with our illness – there may a silver lining helping you thrive deep down.
Positive of the day: I actually ate my 5 a day today – small wins!