The horrendously sad news about the passing of Sophie Gradon and her partner Aaron Armstrong this month has really got me thinking. The saying ‘you never know what goes on behind closes doors’ really resonates with me surrounding this situation because behind her beautiful smile, despite appearances she suffered, suffering terribly from depression and anxiety. We’ll never know for sure what was going through Sophie’s mind, or her partners but I can’t help but wonder. Mental Health feels like such a difficult subject, but why? It’s 2018? Why?
When you Google “What is Mental Health?”, the search result displays a meaning which explains it’s “a person’s condition with regard to their psychological and emotional well-being.” I then ask myself, how do we know if we have a good mental health or a bad mental health? I decided to delve further into mental health in the hope of understanding it further and then I thought, well this would make an interesting blog post, so here is it!
Personally, I feel and think my mental health is good. I can easily pick myself back up again when I’m feeling down, I make a conscious effort to look after myself and be positive. Mindset is huge for me and as long as I can eliminate negativity, I’m good. I appreciate not everyone can keep moving forward with themselves and have my mindset.
Everyone has ‘mental health’ and this can be thought of in terms of:
– How we feel about ourselves and the people around us
– Our ability to make and keep friends and relationships
– Our ability to learn from others and to develop psychologically and emotionally.
Being mentally healthy is also about having the strength to overcome the difficulties and challenges we can all face at times in our lives – to have confidence and self-esteem, to be able to take decisions and to believe in ourselves. I was so shocked to learn that around 1 in 10 of all young people may experience a mental health problem or disorder where they may need help from a mental health specialist. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices.
So what’s causing the staggering rise in mental health issues in 2018? I personally think social media plays a huge roll in it. Three billion people, which works out at around 40% of the world’s population, use online social media – and we’re spending an average of two hours every day sharing, liking, tweeting and updating on these platforms. There are not any official stats to be able to conclude that social media does affect our mental health but coming from a generation where social media has ruled my teenage years it’s easy for me to say.
As a teen growing up I was conscious of my looks, my weight, how big my boobs were and it was hard not to compare myself when I was bombarded the media’s perspective of beautiful so God knows what the pressures are like these days since the likes of Kylie Jenner are our teenager’s role models. If I could give my 16-year-old self-advice it would be to just do me, don’t ever compare because we’re all different.
I sometimes think that social media has a superficial aspect to it. We can have 1,000’s of friends on Facebook yet we can feel so lonely and so far away from human contact. I love being able to disconnect myself from my phone to just spend time with the people around me yet at one point when I was a teenager you’d never see me without my phone. Some people I know will beg to differ that now as I do have a close relationship with my phone but knowing I’d be able to take a break from it all when I need it, is satisfying.
I don’t know if we’ll ever get over mental health sigma in our society but I’ll continue to shout about it!
*This is a collaborative post.