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Posted on Oct 10 2019 by

WelshStar posts a special entry of her blog for World Mental Health Day 2019

World Mental Health Day is a day for global mental health education, awareness and advocacy against social stigma. To mark the day one of the patients in our care, WelshStar, bravely shares her story about her mental health journey and provides advice to those who are suffering in silence. She says she’s passionate about breaking the silence surrounding mental health, and quashing the stigma that is associated with it.

Today I am writing a special blog for World Mental Health day which is really important as although I am in hospital, there are millions of people all over the world who suffer with mental health problems.

Anyone's life can be touched by mental health, if not directly then you may become a carer for someone who has problems, you will know somebody affected at some point and we all have a responsibility to not ignore, or judge, or stigmatise any person who suffers from a mental condition.

I have had mental health problems from a youngster, but it wasn't really understood or recognised as that. It was tough growing up as it affected me directly, but it was also tough for my family as it affected them too. I unfortunately began self-harming in many forms at an early age which became a coping strategy of mine. I didn't see it's unhelpful as it met a need in the moment and I struggled to see any other option. I was young, confused and quite lost in the world and this continued into my adulthood. I never felt like I fitted into the world, where my place was in society and what purpose I had. I had this 'front' that everyone else saw, I appeared confident, in control and full of life bit inside I literally felt like I was dying every day.

I was good at pretending to be fine and couldn't face letting my family and friends see the real darkness inside of me but that pressure had to explode at some point and unfortunately, it led to me committing a crime. The 10 years that followed have been tough, the hardest ever, but that is because I ignored what was going on inside me for so many years. I have since undergone therapy; I am on medication and have been diagnosed with depression & personality disorder. You could look at that as being really rubbish, but my life is now going from strength to strength.

I feel like my life has only really begun over the last couple of years and today on World Mental Health Day I can stand up and say that I have mental health problems, because it really isn't something that anyone should ever feel ashamed of.

I hope that I can reach out to those who are still hiding their poor mental health because you really are not alone and the best advice I can give is to not do what I did for so many years and ignore what is going on for you, talk to someone. It is ok to hide sometimes and give yourself a 'duvet' day but it is important to not avoid for too long.

There is help out there for you so have courage and be kind to yourself.