I grew up in a family where mental health problems walked hand in hand with us in daily life. For me it became normal to grow up in that reality.
It started when i was a teenager while my mom (R.I.P.) began to have mental problems. She suffered for a long time from chronical depression, among other mental disorders. In the beginning when she was feeling bad and behaving different i remember me and my brothers tried to understand the reason why she got like that. I felt it was not fair i had to deal with that at home, specially while comparing my situation with my friends. But through time, sadly it became a routine, in daily life, seeing her going deeper and deeper in herself to a dark place, losing contact with reality, losing herself and becoming numb with all the medications prescribed.
It was a hard reality for us because we needed her. We accepted her sickness which affected us more than we imagined it would.
It is not easy to have a mental sickness from where i came from. People almost don’t want to look at you, interact.. I know my mother did not felt seen, understood, and that only got her problems worse. She never had the courage to admit something was wrong and when it was too late, the sickness developed to a point she could not realise or even express how this really affected her.
My way of handling all this, was my escape at the time: school and friends. Sometimes was positive things and companies (such as music, dance projects..), other times less positive…
Although i can say that at the time, school was my salvation. I was sad of course, but for the majority of times i kept on being a happy and a social person. People also began to wonder how could i be so happy when i had a mother that was so sick… Until i started to feel deeply depressed more often…
I have been feeling depression symptoms in different periods of my life, such as breakups, changing school or jobb situation, pms, baby blues, loss of my mother.. but the one time it affected me the most at the point i had self destructive thougths, was related to my move to another country. After the honey moon phase i began to face the cultural chock, stress and missing my family and friends. I discovered also that i am a HSP (highly sensitive person). I get exhausted and totally drained out when i am too long in environments with a lot of noise, people, impressions.. Hsp is a rare condition that is not so credible by doctors or people in general..Only about 15-20% of the population are highly sensitive.
No matter how i tried to explain, to persons or to doctors, words did not want to come forward. It’s hard for a sick person to describe it’s symptoms when they are at the highest point of the sickness…
I was also ashamed to show to others close to me because i was known as a happy, social and open person. I did not want to ruin that image..
I was quite good holding my mask for a while , but later i decided not to do it anymore. I became better SAYING NO to people when i am feeling low to save my energies.
Yoga and meditation are my therapy. We all know now of its benefits to body, mind and soul. I found my way to get back on track. My way to increase my energy levels, to heal myself naturally. I recommend everyone to try it as a way of connecting to themselves in a deeper level, preventing mental illness, stress, and in extreme cases as a complement to the professional medical care.
In my opinion, no one will ever truly understand what a person with mental problems is going through unless themselves have been or are close to someone in some kind of related situation.
Anyway it is very important to talk to someone and to share if you or you know someone is having mental issues. Don’t be ashamed to contact a doctor as well and to get all kind of support you need.
I think it’s time for people to see that this is really a problem and that it needs more attention, effort and preventive measures.
For me no one else needs to take away their lives or even think about it. It’s time to bring more awareness that this is a really important issue, that everyone needs to be involved in this to make people that are sick feel a part of the society, feel embraced and taken care of, not feel as a parasit.
Love and Light,