There has been so much light on mental health awareness recently, many people suffer in silence.
In 2014, 19.7% of people in the UK aged 16 and over showed symptoms of anxiety or depression – a 1.5% increase from 2013. This percentage was higher among females (22.5%) than males (16.8%).3 https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/statistics/mental-health-statistics-depression
More people are coming forward not only to help to eradicate the taboo surrounding mental health but to also encourage sufferers to speak to someone.
As helpful as this may all seem is it enough to encourage people to speak, in my opinion I feel that may be the difficult part, sufferers in many cases do not speak that easily having locked up there feelings for so long the fear of starting to speak can sometimes be so overwhelming. The thoughts of ‘where do I begin’, ‘if I start I won’t stop’, ‘I can’t bring myself to hear the words’, ‘my troubles are nothing compared to others’, and that’s where the vicious circle begins. The sufferer wakes up with their troubles/despair and tries to get through another day until they come home and have to unlock the door of the home where they will repeat the drowning sorrow of another evening, worrying about repeating it all tomorrow. The air of melancholy is all around them even if no one else notices or possibly assume that this person has it altogether or is the funniest person they know. An example is Robin Williams to the audience he was funny and loving, no one would have guessed that he was a sufferer.
The idea of encouraging sufferers to speak up is just not enough because while we are trying to help the brave sufferer that has decided to seek help we forget about the sufferer whose gone unnoticed. Its true to say you cannot help someone until they want to be helped but maybe they will never be ready, so what do we do ignore it?
How about we all try to be a bit more mindful when we’re out and about, speak to the person that stands next to you on the platform/bus stop or sitting next you you. When your passing the same person on the street why not say “Hello”, sounds strange I know but have you considered the impact it would have on that person and if reciprocated you will feel quite good too. Next time a shop assistant assists you why not drop a compliment or even say a genuine “How are you”, it sounds crazy but what if she was a sufferer, imagine the what feeling your Hello could have ignited, now imagine if more of us did this.
I’m not saying this is a cure but for some it could be a beginning to feeling noticed and that maybe when someone could identify that they can seek help, talk to someone, that they aren’t alone. Getting lost in your own thoughts and feelings can make the world seem like a very dark, lonely place, depression may manifest to feelings of suicide.
Sometimes talking to a stranger can have a more positive outcome for someone who is a sufferer because they are unbiased, mutual strangers, the sufferer has feelings of significance and hopefully they’ll be a glimmer of light, just enough to pull them through to the next stage of getting help.
Maybe I’m painting a picture of an ideal world, maybe I’m a dreamer, Maybe! But maybe that How are you is someone’s chance of hope.
Silence has too much noise and a “How are you?” Is quietness to the noise in your head