There have been so many tragedies lately and over the years, of people committing suicide due to mental health issues, not to mention other types of awful tragedies too.

It never used to be a thing to talk about mental health as my sister, who’s quite a few years older than me, mentioned to me the other night when we were talking about it. I said to her: “I’m so lucky to be part of a generation where it’s so common and normal to talk about it.”

If you break a leg or have a cold you go to the doctor, right? So seeing a psychologist is the same thing, it’s just for your mind – what’s wrong with that? You’re just seeing a different professional and helping yourself in a different way. 

It really kills me that people used to be so ashamed if they felt they needed to see a psychologist and so private about it. This is when things can lead to awful tragedies. 

There is nothing wrong with it or with you if you need to see someone. Anxiety, depression, etc is a normal part of human life.

It is amazing how people care so much about their physical well-being considering they do exercise is any way that pleases them, but people are afraid to care about their mental well-being. These two things come hand in hand, are both equally as important as each other and should BOTH be taken seriously and cared about.

There are so many ways to go about it. And seeing a psychologist is one of the ways. We are so lucky to be able to even have the opportunity to speak to someone like that.

It is ok not to be ok, as long as you are proactive about it and seeking help. 

If it’s because you feel you are going to be judged by other people for opening up, those are the type of people that need the help themselves because they are probably so naive and uneducated or they have issues themselves that they are unaware of. 

It is important to recognise when you are feeling yuk, pin point or write down what you think; reach out to someone even if it’s just by saying “I’m not feeling great, can I speak to you?”; let it out to them, don’t be afraid to cry; do something that makes you feel a little bit better; seek professional help and then it will all come together with time and patience and a bit of hard work. Be true to yourself and don’t suppress how you feel.

It’s a bit like being on an over night camp where you are completely sleep deprived and have to commit to that and to suppressing how you feel constantly because you need to be alert and on top of it at all times. At the end when you get home you just completely crash for 48 hours because you had to hold in all that you truly felt that whole time.

Back when I was at school I think I often had a “tummy ache” or felt another discomfort somewhere the night before or the morning of school. This was all unrecognised anxiety due to academic issues and sometimes social, or maybe I just didn’t know how to look after myself. The reason why I couldn’t recognise that it was actually anxiety was because I didn’t know. It was just never a thing to talk about. There were days when I sometimes had to stay home because it was so bad.

Now looking back, especially now that mental health is a spoken about thing, I fully get it and have sympathy for myself back then. Just because I now recognise it doesn’t mean it has gone away completely; it is still there; I just now know how to deal with it.

I was away recently in my favourite place doing my favourite thing. Nothing was so bad, what could have been so bad? Except that my head was doing funny things and I recognised it straight away. I knew it was irrational but it was a very unpleasant feeling to handle. I knew how to deal with it. I was able to pin point where it was coming from. I wasn’t doing any exercise which is a big factor influencing my anxiety now, I was able to speak about it and let people know how I was feeling. I let myself cry when I needed but it was getting to the point where it was so frequent so I knew something wasn’t right. I spoke to my family and then I went to the last resort. I went home to get the help I needed. And that was that.

Of course I know that there are more and less severe cases of mental health. I am no expert at all but what I am trying to say, is for people who feel it sometimes, most of the time or always, it is really ok. Speak to the people you feel comfortable with, pin point what it could be and get the help you need. People are there to help informally and professionally. Use your resources. Care about yourself, just like you care for others and others care for you. And don’t be ashamed. Be proud that you are doing something about it.

Article by Author/s
Karni Baker
Karni is an active member of the Jewish community who is passionate about volunteering, Tikkun Olam, Israel and Judaism. Upon returning from her 10 months gap year on Israel By Choice, she has spent time on the committees of Challah for Hunger and Zooz, as well as volunteering with Save a Child's Heart, Stand Up, Flying Fox and Friendship Circle. She also has a drink bottle obsession!

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