EDITOR'S NOTE: The post that follows needs to be prefaced with a severe trigger warning. The post is from the point of view of a young person who has experienced suicidal thoughts. Due to the nature of mental health issues and suicidal thoughts themselves, it gives a romanticised view of suicide itself. This blog post has been written honestly from the point of view of the sufferer and shows that while the contributor is aware of the actuality of suicide, the thought process itself can lure sufferers into thinking this way.
It is a topic that is often shied away from, as death is a concept that makes many uncomfortable. I would describe it as one of the major taboos surrounding mental health issues. However, according to the Samaritans, in England and the UK, female suicide rates are at their highest in a decade. It is also a much documented phenomenon among young men, with the Samaritans reporting that male rates remain consistently higher than female suicide rates across the UK and Republic of Ireland – most notably 5 times higher in Republic of Ireland and around 3 times in the UK. For this reason, we think it important to share this post in order to increase awareness of the thought process and experiences of those with suicidal thoughts. Please do read with caution, and if you are suffering yourself or have suffered in the past from thoughts such as this, we advise you skip this post.
The 24hr hotline for The Samaritans is: • 116 123 (UK) • 116 123 (ROI)
Fun Fact: According to the NHS, the top 3 causes of memory loss are depression, anxiety and stress. How do I know this? Because earlier this week I found myself googling whether or not you could get early onset dementia at 22 or whether my brain could just be turning to mush in my head. It turns out that instead? I just tick those top 3 boxes for memory loss.
This is just one of many odd side effects that I’ve found are linked to my mental health problems. In fact, the reason I was originally diagnosed with depression is because I could not stay awake. Not in a 'growing teen who parties all night' kinda way either, but a 'I could sleep for 18 hours straight and still be tired' kinda way. I went to the doctors 3 times with the problem before we twigged that paired with a loss of appetite, a prolonged state of feeling emotionally numb and generally struggling to cope with the all the highs and lows that come with uni, it was looking like depression.
Hello sixteen-year-old me again, it’s you six years on at twenty-two years of age and two years since I wrote to you for the first HMIY book. A lot has changed since then! But a lot has also stayed the same.
Dear My Undiagnosed Teenage Self,
Long time no see/speak. We last met when I opened some however-many-years-old journals for a couple of nice psychiatrists to examine. I featured some of the quotes in my novel; sorry to steal them from you. And every time I look at a picture of you, I just cringe. Firstly buddy, get rid of that awful side fringe. It doesn’t frame your face or flatter your puppy-fat chin, it makes your hair look flat. It looks awful. Seriously. Grow it out.
But that’s not the only thing I want to tell you today. I have some good news for you. You do have bipolar affective disorder! You’re not going crazy. All those years of agonising, confusion, recklessness and (well to be honest, an awesome as f**k, crazy, manic time), are over.
Hello Me, it's You…
I am writing to you not to warn you but to help you about what is to come in later life.
I know that are you are young and probably have nothing to worry about, it is probably just you and mum right now, but I will let you into a secret. When you are seven years old you will have your first half sibling. It will be weird but you will then go on to have six more by the time you are 23. Crazy right? One thing I must tell you is that you won’t get to see one of them, but we will talk about that later.
Hello Me, it’s you.
Welp, believe it or not it’s been quite a while since I last contacted you. The last we spoke, I was… just 20? I was just embarking on a Uni project with absolutely no clue of what it held in store for me.
Remember I gave you some advice, after dropping the bombshell that I’d finally been diagnosed with depression and anxiety? I still stand by it. Turns out teeny-bit-younger Han had an alright head on those shoulders. I’m going to use this opportunity to share some more pearls of wisdom and update you on my situation, sound ok?
*Trigger Warning: This post discusses the traumatic events in Manchester this week*
At times like this, the world can look bleak and it can be hard to handle. It can be hard to wrap your head around the levels of sadness and hurt going on across the world, especially after an event so close to home such as the Manchester Bombing this week. We felt the need to dedicate this week to our top 2 self care tips, following an incident such as this.
We are so excited to share the news that we are launching a weekly mental health blog! We'll be sharing weekly content from different contributors, giving their opinions and experiences on all things Mental Health.
We are going to be posting each of our contributors' letters to their younger selves, to give you a proper introduction to them. From that point on, normal service will be resumed and we’ll be posting opinion pieces and experiences of mental health issues.
Would you like to write for us? Contact Hellomeitsyou@gmail.com with your ideas, we’d love to hear from you.
Ooh and we’d love to hear what you think of each piece, so do comment, like and share!
Check back here every Wednesday for the latest on all things mental health.
Hello Me, it’s You.
I’m imagining that you’re in front of me. Instead of staring at a screen, I’m watching your fingers trace invisible lines on a table that sits between us. Your upper lip is scrunched, signalling that you’re uncomfortable, and my brows are furrowed in frustration. I imagine myself commenting that you, too, might furrow yours, if you had any. Perhaps you’d laugh. If you did, we’d sigh our relief. She’s not the enemy, we’d realise, and reach for our mugs of tea.
Hello Me, it's You
Welcome to the Hello Me, it’s You blog! We are launching this blog with weekly content from different contributors, giving their opinions and experiences on all things Mental Health.