Monday, 7 March 2016

Mental illness is not contagious

Mental illness is not contagious. If you know someone experiencing mental illness you won’t be infected if you go near them. It’s not a disease. 

Overcoming problematic situations and occurrences is something we all have to do every day in our lives but when things build up over time or traumatic events happen, we can lose the ability to overcome. Good mental health is about resilience, the ability to bounce back and cope. When we temporarily lose that ability so that we cannot cope, we don’t bounce back, we feel we are falling down a hole and we find it difficult to climb out, through no fault of our own.  That is mental illness.

Of course there are many forms of mental illness and their aspects are complex.

Having lived with mental illness in the form of clinical depression I have now come to realise that it’s best to experience it, to live through it because when the time comes when you feel you have climbed out of the hole you will emerge with greater understanding, empathy for others, non-judgemental and wiser. And you can climb out of that hole. We can bounce back. It’s not easy, it takes time and that time has to be lived through, there’s no quick fix and no magic wand waving.

I have found that being around others who have experienced similar feelings and experiences can help to know you are not alone and you are not a freak. Having a focus, something to work towards helps too, looking forward not back. Having a reason to get up and somewhere to go.

Seeing others bounce back and tapping into their new found positivity can boost your own recovery.
Mental illness is not contagious but recovery can be.

These are just a few words of support not aimed at giving advice or fixing but just to say it is possible to bounce back so that we can cope again.


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