The Power of Talking for Mental Health
Asking for help isn’t giving up – it is refusing to give up. It’s not unusual to feel the ‘taboo’ of mental health and feel uncomfortable to ask for help. You might know you need some support, but have no idea where to turn to or who to speak to. Sometimes these are things you don’t want to discuss with those close to you, and I understand that. You may keep quiet, hoping what’s bothering you will go away. Fortunately, mainstream is showing us that varying degrees of Mental health problems are very common, with many people experiencing and now speaking about challenges with anxiety, depression or fears throughout their lives.
Knowing what to do when you’re challenged with your mental health can be tough. You might know you need help but have no idea who to speak to, or you may keep quiet, hoping what’s bothering you will go away.
Whichever coping method you’ve adopted, it’s ok! But… when you’re finding life challenging, keeping your problems to yourself can sometimes make things worse. The problem may simply become bigger and grow more and more out of your control. Many women are seeking the help of a qualified coach or therapist to talk through what’s showing up in their lives, in a safe and private space.
Although mental health problems have been on the rise over the past 15 years in the UK, the recent lockdown due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic has further escalated cases.
Is your mental health suffering?
Sometimes it may feel difficult to identify if you’re struggling with your mental health – we all have good days and bad days. In recent years, there has been a steady increase in the cases of depression, generalised anxiety disorder, OCD and phobias amongst our younger generation and I am starting to see more and more girls and young women who are feeling confident enough to speak out and I strongly believe our culture is changing.. This doesn’t disregard the challenges you may be going through – this is to show you that you’re not alone and you deserve to experience life from the positive.
Although some doctors have a reputation for prescribing medication like antidepressants to those suffering with mental health problems, most agree that they shouldn’t be the first option. Talking therapies can be a huge help when you’re going through a challenging time, with many people finding them more effective than antidepressants.
The Mental Health Foundation says that although mental health problems affect both men and women, this isn’t in equal measure. In England, women are more likely to suffer from a the more common mental health problem, and are at a far greater risk of being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder such as GAD, OCD, or social phobia.
The Foundation points out that abuse is often a factor in poor mental health in women. It notes that treatment must be sensitive and gender-focussed. With this, eating disorders are markedly higher in women too, with girls aged 12-16 more likely to suffer from conditions like anorexia. Studies suggest that increased social media use is contributing to higher cases of eating disorders and It’s claimed that young women are feeling increased pressure to conform to beauty ideals – the social media dilema!
Poor mental health in lockdown
Although mental health problems have been on the rise over the past 15 years in the UK (or perhaps they are being spoken about more?), the recent lockdown due to the continuing Covid-19 pandemic has further escalated cases. Young women in particular are suffering high levels of anxiety, depression, and loneliness. This study, carried out by UCL, found that 19-year-old women were most likely to be experiencing poor mental health during lockdown compared to older adults. Among 19-year-old females, one third had symptoms of depression and 45% felt lonely during that time.
This is a worringly high number and something I strongly feel passionate about addressing.
How talking can help
So with Mental Health Awareness Day coming up, this Saturday, I am on a mission to push out my message about ‘The Power Of Talking’…
Mental health problems are clearly a big concern amongst women of all ages, in 2020. However, the good news is that women are often more willing to seek help and talk about their feelings than men. Talking therapies can play a vital role in helping you to overcome a mental health condition. They can help you to find your own answers to your problems in a non-judgemental setting.
When you meet with a trained professional like a therapist or coach, you have space to talk, shout, cry, or even just think. You have a safe space in which to offload and release the pressure that’s been building up inside of you. It’s an opportunity to look at what is showing up in your life, in a different way with someone who will respect you.
Many women find it easier to chat with a stranger about what’s troubling them than family or friends. Talking may not help your problems go away completely, but it can help you find it easier to cope and feel happier.
Knowing when it’s time to talk
Talking can be really helpful for several mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, eating disorders, addictions, and more serious disorders such as bipolar. It can also be useful after difficult life events such as the death of a loved one, divorce or being diagnosed with a serious illness. Having the support and a space to offload is so key to building resilience and moving through these challenges.
The simple act of talking can be more powerful than many people realise. In a Time to Change survey, it was revealed that of more than 7,000 people living with mental health problems, 60% said they felt a sense of relief and like ‘a weight had been lifted’ once they had talked about their feelings.
I want you to not feel alone and to know there is a supportive community here for you.
Maintaining inner peace is hard, especially when you’re stuck at home. Now more than ever, no doubt you’re wondering what that something is which is holding you back.
I can help you work through your thoughts and feelings, to make better sense of all of the noise and would love to invite you to book in for a complimentary call.
This is a safe space to talk about what is going on for you.
Together we can:
- Help you navigate the pressures, demands and constraints that come with modern-day society, and teach you how to handle these
- Show you how to find confidence in yourself, to make decisions that are right for you
- Teach you how to deal with overwhelm, and even make it a thing of the past
- Help you carve your path in life, working with you to understand what holds you back and how to overcome this.
You can become so much stronger by sharing your thoughts and feelings and gaining a new perspective.