So, I was going to write about the research conducted into Mica, that ubiqutous sparkly mineral that is found in about 99% of cosmetics and in some skin care (and even in toothpaste!) but decided that it can wait a while. This is something far greater and needs more than just a social media post, hence this blog post:
Before I go on, I wanted to add a little caveat here. I am in no way a health professional, and I absolutely admire any person that is, and I want to extend so much love to those people who are also affected by any kind of mental health crisis. This blog post is purely to try and bring attention to something that is not just personal to me, but to everyone.
Mental Health is something that, according to data gathered in 2017, affects 792 million people globally*, so on average one in ten people has a known mental health disorder. However mental health is also severely under reported, partly due to lack of awareness within communities and the stigma attached (think: “she’ll be right”), but also under reported in lower income areas, where the means to collate data and provide treatment is virtually non-existent. Also bearing in mind that this number is probably higher now in 2020. The other aspect of Mental Health that is challenging (to put it mildly) is that it is mostly occurs in the brain. When you have a broken foot, it is easy for someone else to provide comfort or at least comprehend, but trying to convey what feels like a broken mind is incredibly hard and overwhelming.
Mental health is stated in the following categories:
- Eating disorders
- Alcohol use disorder
- Drug use disorder (excluding alcohol)
I wanted to concentrate on one of these, not because it is any more important that the others, but because according to the World Health Organization, depression is set to become the second leading cause of disability in the world by 2020. It is also something that I openly admit to teetering on the edge with over the years and have watched other people going through similar experiences.
Depression is categorised as follows:
- (a) reduced concentration and attention;
- (b) reduced self-esteem and self-confidence;
- (c) ideas of guilt and unworthiness (even in a mild type of episode);
- (d) bleak and pessimistic views of the future;
- (e) ideas or acts of self-harm or suicide;
- (f) disturbed sleep
- (g) diminished appetite.
All or some of these can be experienced either mildly or chronically by a person. The main variance with having depression and having “a bad life moment” is that it stays, even when life on the outside seems to be getting better. Life is full of break ups, grief, anger, but it’s how the mind copes that is the difference.
The way you feel when you’re depressed is connected to:
- your thoughts
- the way you behave
- what happened to you in the past
- what’s going on around you now
- the way stress hormones affect your brain.**
So what can you do if either you or someone you know is experiencing this? The hardest part it seems from research conducted is actually acknowledging the problems to begin with. If you think anyone you know is suffering from any of these symptoms, check in with them, or leave them a note. If you are hurting in anyway, you are not alone, reach out.There are all sorts of tips now available on the internet. One of the best sources for information in New Zealand is Depression.org – link at bottom of the page. Another is the internationally recognised 5 Ways to Well-being:
- Connect: Strengthening relationships. Feeling valued
- Be Active - Physically active, even just for a 10 minute walk outside
- Keep Learning - Expand your thinking, seek out new experiences. This could be anything from flower arranging, or art, or gardening.
- Give - Acts of kindness is known to boost your own sense of well - being.
- Take Notice - Being present in the moment. Also known as Grounding: plant your feet on the ground and use all your senses to take in the world around you at that moment.
I feel like I have only really scratched the surface of a topic that is so vast, but I hope this helps in some way. I have also attached a link to the White Cloud radio. This is music to help relax the mind. Feel free to add songs to it.