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It’s good to talk

struggling with mental health issues - Close-up of psychiatrist hands together holding palm of her patient
Updated May 2022

Struggling with mental health issues

In 2018, after years of struggling with mental health issues from bullying, I was finally diagnosed with PTSD and underwent EMDR therapy.

As you know I care passionately about mental health awareness. Furthermore, I love the fact that more and more of us are now starting to talk openly about our struggles. So I wanted to share a little more of my story.

I was bullied all through Junior School from age 7-10.  I moved from a small village to a new town when I was 7, changing schools.  Being the new girl, I was quiet, I was an easy target.  I can’t actually tell you a lot about those 4 years of school as I have blocked most of it out.  I’ve very, very few memories of those years.  But what I do know is bullying affected my whole life and changed me as a person. 

Therapy anyone?

My depression wasn’t diagnosed until I was in my late teens and found myself in an abusive marriage since then I have suffered from 3 major episodes.  Similar to a lot of sufferers I didn’t realise how ill I was a lot of the time, I ‘self-medicated’.   

I used:

Alcohol, it didn’t help! 

Drugs, they didn’t help! 

Self-harm, it didn’t help! 

Anti-depressants, they did help! Kinda… 

However, the one thing that did and does help is talking, therapy, in my opinion, is the one thing that can really help.  Understanding yourself and why you feel how you do and how you can change that, is one of the greatest tools you can have.  And just knowing that you are not alone, that someone cares can make a huge difference. 

Now there are lots of therapies out there. But ‘therapy’ doesn’t have to be seeing a ‘therapist’, just speaking to someone you trust can be therapy enough, seeking help from a counsellor can be just what you need. What I’m trying to say is the sooner you can talk to someone, whoever that is, the better.

“A problem shared, is a problem halved.”

Time to get real!

We need to be open and honest, we need to be there for ourselves and each other.  Bullying is not acceptable, we need to be kinder.

I don’t want anyone to ever get to the stage I did 10 years ago. I don’t want anyone to feel their friends, their family, and their kids are better off without them.  To write that note that says goodbye.  To swallow as many tablets as they can and lie down in bed, close their eyes and wish to never wake up.

So, let’s be open.  Let’s admit when we aren’t okay, let’s admit we sometimes need help. 

‘It’s okay to not be okay’ 

It’s good to talk, in fact, you need to talk!  Therefore the sooner we talk, the sooner we realise we are not alone, the sooner we can start on the road to recovery.  Talk to a friend, talk to a family member, talk to a teacher, talk to the Samaritans, just talk to someone! And if you hear ‘snap out of it’, ‘you’ll be fine, don’t worry’, ‘stop being silly’ then walk away and find someone else to talk to.  Because there is always someone out there willing to listen, willing to care and willing to take that journey with you, by your side. 

It’s okay to talk!  

The strongest people were once the broken ones, they learned how to fix themselves with or without help from anyone.

Are you a parent of a child aged 9-16 who has experienced bullying?  Kidscape UK offers ZAP workshops (run via video conferencing during the pandemic) for parents and children affected. 

ZAP workshops for children impacted by bullying (kidscape.org.uk)

The community workshops are run by Kidscape specialist trainers, running two separate sessions: one for young people and a supporting session for parents and carers.  

I really wish they’d had something like this when I was young!

Fay x

struggling with mental health issues - It's good to talk

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