This week I'd like to discuss something very important and personal to me ... mental illness. It's something that I feel very strongly about, having struggled with various forms throughout my life. I feel, even now, that there is a huge stigma attached to people who suffer from mental health issues and I'd like to do something, even as small as hosting this themed week, in order to take away some of the shame associated with admitting to mental illness.
I am however, not a health care professional. If you think you are suffering from mental illness, please do seek support from your GP.
Mental illness affects 1 in 4 people today in Britian. It's very common, but I'm sure that there is a lot that is not widely known about mental illness. It can take many different forms, from anxiety and panic attacks to depression. Personality disorders, schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Other issues related to this psychiatric disorders include eating disorders, the abuse of drugs and alcohol and also self-harm.
There are many different causes for mental illness: difficult childhoods, genetics, stressful life events to name but a few. And there are different types of treatment from medication to talking therapies and many different means of seeking help. For more information, visit the NHS website about mental health.
For me, I find that regular exercise, eating well, expressing my emotions and having someone available to openly speak about past events and my feelings does a great deal towards improving my mental well-being. I'll be discussing some of my own experiences of mental illness during the course of this week.
During my Mental Health Awareness week, I'll be reviewing several YA books that dicuss some aspect of mental illness or disturbance, share some of my own experiences, and provide some other recommendations of books that cover the subject well.
I think mental illness is a very large topic, and I won't be able to address every aspect of it. In fact, the books I'm reviewing this week deal mostly with depression/bipolar disorder. Please feel free to write in the comments any books you've reviewed that deal with mental health issues, share your own experiences or give recommendations for books that discuss other aspects of mental illness!
Thank you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on this topic!