When we're discussing mental illness, 'What's the difference?' is a very good question. It's a question which should probably be asked more often. Not in a negative way, but in a curious way. You see the range of mental illnesses is broad. Very broad. If this wasn't confusing enough for friends and family of mental health patients, many of these illnesses or diagnoses share traits with one another. Some patients will have only one diagnosis, others will have two or more. Welcome to the complex world of mental health.
Before I go any further, please be aware, I am not a trained professional, in any way, shape or form. I am just a regular mum doing my best, whilst living with a diagnosis of depression and anxiety. I have had minor episodes and I have had a very major one. Together with some amazing bloggers I have the pleasure to call friends, we will take you on a journey to learn about the struggles we face and how we are all different.
We are so fortunate to live in an age where people are beginning to speak about their mental health. Some of them, like Prince Harry, are very well known and influential, and that can only be a good thing. However, whilst people are more willing to open up about their struggles, there is still a huge gap between knowing about the importance of mental health and understanding it. Even now, many sufferers of mental illness find themselves isolated and unsupported. Often we find friends and family don't know what to do or say, so instead of trying, they hide away, or on occasion, say the wrong thing. How many times have you been told to 'pull yourself together'?
What's the Difference will be a short series of posts that aim to show you that even though a group of people have the same diagnosis, they don't share the exact same experience. We'll look at different diagnoses and learn a little of what the symptoms etc. are.
If you have a mental illness, we want you to know, you are not alone. If you are a friend or family member supporting someone, we want to help you to understand your loved one's journey and help you to find the support you need for yourself.
If you are struggling and need support, please contact any of the charities below: