We are doing a 12 hour hike in Norway on 20th July 2019 for Mental Health Foundation. We are raising money in aid of Mental Health Foundation and every donation will help. Thank you in advance for your contribution to this cause that means so much to us.
More information about Mental Health Foundation: The Mental Health Foundation is the UK's Charity for everyone's mental health. With prevention at the heart of what we do we aim to find and address the sources of mental health problems so that people and communities can thrive.Nidhi's story:
I struggled with depression after I faced the loss of a loved one in my life. I used to wake up with a pittish and an empty feeling in me. It felt like life had no meaning. I could not get out of bed. The pain only increased because I had small realizations every day for e.g. – one day I realized I would never get to see her, the next day I realized I would never get a call from her again, the day after that I realized I can never share any news with her anymore. I used to wake up tired, barely have any energy to make it through the day, everything was exhausting. I walked slower, I talked slower, I thought slower and nothing mattered.
It was a prolonged and a very painful death for her and I didn’t even remember the last thing I said to her because I didn’t think it would be the last thing I would say to her. I could only focus on what I didn’t have. The pain came in waves. I was not sad all the time but the pain would just hit me out of nowhere. I didn’t choose the time I would feel sad. I had no control over my emotions. Crying took up my whole time. I used to think of all the plans I had for myself and how this person would be in my future. Thinking about the future was painful since she was not in it.
I had a plan of pursuing my masters in a different country later that year. It was too painful to stay home because everything just reminded me of what I didn’t have. Moving to a different country meant a lot of changes and leaving behind everything that was familiar. For the longest time I didn’t want to socialize with anyone and I didn’t socialize with anyone. I didn’t make any friends and just focused on completing my masters. I felt that since I faced this loss I didn’t have the right to be happy. I thought why or how could I be happy if this has happened to me. I was drowning myself in self pity and just feeling sorry for myself.
I felt like there was no point in seeking help because it won’t bring this person back. What I realized was that it was important for me to feel what I felt and that it was important for me to share how I felt.
When you face the loss of a loved one you are going to be in a long term relationship with grief and the pain will always be with you. The healing process was slow. I was still holding myself back from a lot of opportunities because I didn’t feel I deserved them. I had to remind myself that my own life has a purpose and I could start renewing the goals and plans I had for myself.
What kept me going was to become the person she would be proud of and be the person I was raised to be. My family was my greatest strength through this period. One of the few things that helped was remembering to celebrate the life of my loved one. This included reading all our WhatsApp messages, cooking her favourite food and framing photos of the time we spent together. Revisiting old stories and pictures always helped. What I can take back from this journey and I what I think is most important to get through the grieving process is to remember that pain is inevitable, suffering is optional.Jasdeep's story:
Millennials are considered one of the most anxious generation and is reaching an all time high. 50% of mental health problems occur by the age of 14 and 75% by age of 24. Anxiety can occur by exams, future uncertainty and the stress that comes from social media. Social media has been linked to cause depression. I, unfortunately, can relate to all of the above. Social media today is not what it used to be few years ago. For example, Instagram is now full of unrealistic models and body builders. This is not to say Instagram is not a strong platform to pursue a career in but it is also a platform where our generation compare their lives to the ones who post their “perfect picture” lives. I have felt like this several times and fear where this leads others to.
Future uncertainty is a scary feeling, I am sure everyone at some stage has felt lost and in need of direction including myself. Comparison also links to this. I would end up comparing my life to another successful person’s and it would break me more than anyone could imagine. Comparison is a killer. It took me a while to realise that everyone achieves goals at their own pace. One person may get their dream car by 25 whilst another has to still save up for one. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you go as long as you get there in the end. I’ve learned that comparing yourself to others is just slowly destroying your energy to push forward and succeed.
I’ve also learned to keep my mind busy by focusing on myself. How to grow and find new personal goals. If my mind is not occupied, war begins with the inner demon. Of course, having that a bit of me time is needed from time to time as I like to take a break from the world. However, too much of it would open up the dark side.
Overthinking which I call a demon can overtake my mind and lead me to feeling like I am losing myself. It is hard to put this demon on a leash and control it. However, over the past few years I have learned how to manage it.
Gym is one of my best bets on overpowering this demon. Gym is not just for physical strength but for the mind too. Exercising has benefited me a lot. I am no longer underweight, I am stronger than before (thanks to my personal trainer) and my mind, well my mind is now more at peace. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. Exercising regularly benefits including a positive boost in mood and lower rates of depression. So, after every workout session endorphins triggers a positive feeling in my body.
Another method I try to use is by telling myself it is just the voice inside my head. There are times when I panic and think the worst of a situation but truly nothing has happened and the voice just tricked me.
My new interest is to travel. As you can tell, I’m very keen to get to to the top of Trolltunga and travel more than before.
I also want to touch base on men’s mental health as I have a strong passion for this awareness. Most of us may know the suicidal rate in men is significantly higher than women. Men tend to feel they must not express themselves and feel pressured to pursue a career to be able to provide for their family. Men feel they are seen as weak if they let out their emotions. They feel as though in order to support their family they need to be strong and emotionless. I strongly want this perspective to change. This should not be happening. A man who is able to express his feelings is not a coward but is stronger than any man who thinks it is a sign of weakness. If a man who lifts weights is seen as strong and powerful, why can’t they strengthen their mind too? Do you think a man can help his family when he can’t help himself?
The mind is more powerful than the body. If every one of us can live by this line, I truly believe we can help more people than before.We know we are not the only ones who deal with mental health challenges. We encourage you to face your fears and spread the awareness. #TogetherWeConquer
Learn more about the campaign at https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/