It was World Mental Health Day yesterday and I didn’t mark it, appropriately enough, because my own mental health got in the way.
While some might question the need for a day to be set aside when we should be concerned with something that will affect everyone at some point in their life – directly or indirectly – the additional spotlight can do no harm in reducing the stigma and in raising awareness.
I don’t have the capacity at the moment to talk about where I am on my own meandering journey through clinical depression, PTSD, and of course that old friend anxiety. I do know that I would not be in the comparatively functional state that I am without the support and forebearance of family, friends, colleagues, and medical professionals over the years. They’ve all helped when the black dog has been barking loudly.
Wrapping up, and to illustrate how big the issue is, I was working somewhere recently and taking a break when the conversation turned to the various pills and potions we need to take. Every person in that room was taking antidepressants regularly.
It somehow made us all a little more relaxed to feel comfortable enough to share that in that moment. That’s why we need World Mental Health Day.