When it comes to health I always find there are two topics that send people scuttling away into a corner of embarrassment. One is sexual health and the other is mental!
Mental, mental chicken oriental.
Mental. That's mental! You're mental you are!
Insults hurled across playgrounds, and some places of work, since time began.
Will we ever get rid of the stigma of "mental health"?
October is mental health month. We all have mental health but we rarely think about it or consider it. It's just there.
Until it goes wrong.
In exactly the same way we don't always consider aspects of our physical health, until something hurts or twinges.
In the depths of the various levels of depression I have experienced over the years there have been times when I have felt broken. Physically and mentally broken.
Telling a person with depression or mental health issues to "pull themselves together" is no more useful or constructive than telling a person with a broken leg to "get up and walk you lazy cow"!
You have to let things heal before they can strengthen and that healing can involve all kinds of different things, including taking pills.
If I took a tablet everyday for blood pressure or thyroid who'd bat an eyelid? Why is taking medication for a mental health issue any different or more embarrassing than taking one for a physical health issue?
Yet it is, isn't it? Or maybe it was?
In recent months I have posted two Facebook statuses on my depression and the medication I take for it. The responses have blown me away. Not only have people been supportive but they have shared their own mental health issues and if they take medication too.
As I tell the boy on a daily basis "It's fun to share!"
And you know what, it has been. Telling people I have depression and I take medication for it has been one of the most liberating things I've ever done.
I refuse to hide in a corner. So I talk about it. Because talking about it helps me heal and it, hopefully, stops the rest of the world being embarrassed and treating mental health as something we don't mention.
Because that's just mental, isn't it!