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The ones who cope with mental illness, who function day to day despite it, the ones who others might at worst see as a bit more anti-social than before — or who, when the truth emerges, will hear the same gasp of surprise over and over again: “You? The doctor listened, empathised, diagnosed and prescribed.
” Yet, deplorably, we’re also the ones being let down daily by the inability of those who run this country to get their heads around what’s going on in ours.
But I can say that had there at least been this kind of conversation in the media, if my dad’s generation had been encouraged to talk about their feelings the way I encourage my kids to, it would have felt so much less of a minefield.
Today, thankfully, more of us are finally beginning to scrap the armour of our stubborn pride and bare our souls.
If so, the first step to jemmying that shutter open and letting the light flood back in is to admit you’re hurting. For nine out of ten of us coping with the kind of mental illness that will never make us a suicide rush, medication is the bottom line — we need a pill to release the serotonin that is the key to that padlocked shutter. Take it as prescribed, give it two or three weeks to kick in, then start to feel the weariness ease. But if you see yourself in any of the above and it inspires you to take back control, it might be life-changing.
Another major concern is that one of the partners will develop romantic feelings for the other.But maybe you’ll stumble across this article and recognise yourself in it.Does it take every ounce of yourself just to do the things that need to be done, never mind having the will to do things you’d love to be doing? Best of all, though, walk into your GP’s reception, take the first available appointment.Many more make themselves believe their problems aren’t serious enough to burden their GP with.They’re scared of being told to pull themselves together — and more so of their bosses finding out and their jacket jangling on a shoogly peg.
Yet unless there’s someone out there with the expertise to properly deal with their issues, the frustration of many who pluck up that courage will only grow.