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I'm not ok...

In today's society, even with the huge awareness of mental health problems it is still incredibly difficult for anyone to say "I'm not ok" especially for the first time. If we are being honest it is a particular problem with men and for good reason.

In saying "I'm not ok" you are making yourself vulnerable and at the mercy of those you speak to. Thoughts to be considered include:

  • Will I be believed

  • Will I be blamed

  • Will I be forced to go to the doctor

  • Will I be labelled weak (or lacking in resilience)

  • What will people think about me

  • Will I lose my job

Other thoughts stopping someone speaking up include:

  • I am just a burden

  • I have let people down

  • I am wek

  • I am a failure

  • I am supposed to be strong for my family

  • no one will understand

  • What can anyone do

So it becomes a battle. It feels easier to try to cope alone, to sort the problem out or hope that it might go away. Yet in the meantime the stresses can accumulate and feel overwhelming. Those feelings of guilt and letting everyone down increase. And then there are the messages we constantly see:

  • Today is a blessing

  • Don't dwell on your problems

  • Others are suffering much more

  • Yesterday is the past, concentrate on today

  • We need to become more resilient

  • and so much more besides

The messages might appear well meaning but every one reinforces the stigma and stops someone from talking about their problems.

That is where we, the well in society come in. We must do more. We must ask others how they are really, and listen to the answer. It is so difficult to make that leap and say "I am not Ok" and we must appreciate the reasons why people suffer alone. Let's stop placing the onus on those who are struggling and challenge ourselves to make a difference.

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