Time to Talk Day aims is to get as many people as possible across England talking about mental health.
I did not realise the day was happening until I heard discussions on breakfast telly.
What did happen this morning is that my husband woke me with a coffee and asked if I would be phoning for a GP appointment today. “I might” I said with no real motivation to do so. Then my husband said he had left the phone and the telephone number on the bedside cabinet.
So I phoned at 8am precisely because although us folks with mental health issues do need time to talk, GP surgeries don’t make it easy. A lot of mums are very busy at 8am as well as potentially struggling with mental health and yet we have to confront the phone at 8am or no appointment for you my dear.
Having got an appointment for cowboy time, I got up and had coffee. I know I am not in the depths as I had a bath so I would smell decent for the doctor.
Dr Hilary was on telly saying that it is possible to be loved when you have a mental health condition. This is so true and since opening up about my depression via blogging, I have had such a huge level of support. Perhaps more vitally, I have learned to love myself a little and sometimes a lot! This enables me to love other people better.
I posted on Facebook feeling a little fearful of judgement and a little embarrassed/ashamed. The first person to comment was a GP in Australia who I last knew back at school. He was a generous soul then and still is. He explained one in 10 people in a doctor’s waiting room will be there with a mental health issue. I wonder why that number if not much higher if 1 in 4 have mental health issues. Is it stigma still holding us back from grasping the nettle on this issue?
By joining together Time to Talk Day, we can break the silence that often surrounds mental health, and show that talking about this once-taboo issue doesn’t need to be difficult. We actually need to do this every day so that people can help those who are in pain of the emotional kind.
I turned up at the GP without my husband another sign I am better than I was. The receptionist struggled to find me on her system at which point negative self-talk started in my head but I did not flee. I was directed to a waiting area and realised that as a new patient I did not know the system for being called to see the doctor. I went back and asked and was told to wait for a buzzer. I heard a noise. Was that the buzzer? OMG, what if it is not the buzzer and I go in and make a fool of myself? Or disturb another patient? Sit tight. Count the chairs. Only 9. How does that work then when I am supposed to be looking for the 1 in 10 who also has a mental health issue today. Plus nobody else is waiting. Mad thoughts to distract myself.
An obvious buzzer sounds and I go to see the doctor. She tells me I am a new patients so she does not have any notes for me from my previous practice. I registered in December so this seems wrong but then I am a loon so how would I know? I am then told that I could have died by giving up my medication. She tells me I would have been told that when I was first given the happy pills and I know I was not and wonder how she can be so sure I was when she has no records of my medical history. Hey, I am a loon so I should not question her, right? She also rebukes me for using the common term for my medication. She asks if I have anyone at home with me but does not say why she asks.
Yes it is time to talk but once again I actually think if us apparent loons were in charge of the world it might actually be a much saner place.
Check out amazing resources because you (yes YOU!) can do something to help as a parent, teacher, employer, celebrity, volunteer manager of person in the street.