Lulu's Super TriA fundraising project by Lou Gilmore-George
I'm a mental health sufferer, I'm almost 40 and I have been struggling from the age of 14 (that I can remember)
I've had numerous courses of Cognitive behavioural therapy and Psychotherapy for Anxiety, social Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and more recently Body Dismorphic disorder.
Every single day for me is a struggle, whether it's getting out the door or coping with my thoughts. I have 2 children and I am an artist. Currently self employed, I use my art work as therapy, however I doubt my abilities and self worth daily, even when doing the thing I love.
In 2014 I qualified as a Teacher, but sadly, I have been unable to teach due to my mental health difficulties.
This has affected my self worth, confidence and financial stability, which in turn feeds the mental health disorders.
I use alternative therapies and nature in my daily therapy but after a series of difficult and stressful events over the past 3-4 months, I have found myself in a particularly low place.
It wasn't until a close friend said to me, honestly, that I looked 'unwell' I had no idea how bad things had got and how bad things could go. I have been massively inspired by the likes of Zoe Ball and her recent challenge for comic relief and the work and support that the Tomorrow programme offers in the fight against mental health.
There is still such a stigma behind mental health, it's still seen as a taboo subject and somewhat of a weakness. I talk openly on social media, both on my personal pages and my artist/professional pages, Yet I have lost friends because of this and have been told on numerous occasions that 'I shouldn't post that on my page' or 'that's unprofessional' and it raises the question 'would the same be said about posting about a broken arm or leg'?
Until Mental health is seen in the same light as any other illness, injury or disease how can we make sure we are there for those who need us the most.
The mind is the toughest ailment to treat..lets do it together.