Tonight I spoke about mental health via spoken word; the subject is still considered a taboo and carries a lot of unnecessary stigma. This is my opportunity to initiate a bit of clarity and prove that mental illness is not always something to be scared of.
Everyone has mental health; it is the cognitive part of the brain, therefor absolutely everyone has the potential to acquire ill mental health. One can argue that some people are even born with it, genetics do play a part, as does ones environment or lifestyle. Ill mental health affects one in three people in their lifetime, Therefor it needs to be a subject that is known and understood as general knowledge, not just if it hits you close to home.
As a self-appointed mental health awareness advocate, I go by the name, “No One”! This is not a derogative term but one of inclusion; I represent anyone and everyone, no one in particular.
I feel that I know the Mental Health system very well, I’ve been in it for more than half of my life, especially since my breakdown in 2013, I was then subsequently diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder or Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder, depending on where you are in the world.
I have to deal with severe symptoms like psychosis, hallucinations, depression, mania, numbness, dissociation which can, and do often lead to impulsive self-destructive and suicidal behaviour, on a daily basis, in rapid cycles; it is exhausting, terrifying and isolating. I have been in and out of psychiatric hospitals for years. No one would choose this lifestyle.
Lately the media has been talking a lot about mental health and celebrities have been speaking up and out about their experiences, encouraging all, to communicate their problems with friends, families and peers. Yet this is not always an option for everybody. Religion, ethnicity, culture, sexuality may discourage vulnerable individuals. Not everyone has someone! I agree that it is good to talk, to offload but most of, “Jo Blogs” (which is understandable due to the lack of general mental health education) they often don’t know what to suggest or how to help. Sometimes friends and family get overwhelmed and seemingly turn their backs, emotions, love and fear often results in them not wanting to hear and makes them take a step back. So if able, you turn to the professionals and you still get nothing! Many of the mental health working practitioners that I have encountered, they simply don’t know how to react to confessions as complex as mine own, because they have not personally experienced it or been trained on how to handle it, a generic text book will only get you so far. The NHS mental health system is struggling and literally cannot expand their care to help all that need it.
My website, www.adiaryfromnoone.co.uk has a purpose. Inclusivity! My writing allows others that are unwell to identify and not feel alone, also their connections to understand what they may not be able to articulate or express themselves.
I am organising my second festival to bring families and the community together in a creative environment with mental health at the heart of it. Saturday 22nd July, 12-5pm @ 123-125 Showell Green Lane, B11 4JD Please come along and support the cause. Donations are welcome but this is a free event. The majority of money raised is going to, “Caring Minds Charity” whom distribute donations between The Birmingham And Solihull Mental Health Trust. I specifically want it to go towards training.