Mental Health Warriors: Be Strong and Fearless
Welcome to Mental Health Warriors: Be Strong and Fearless. Today, I would like to introduce you to Emily from Be Strong and Fearless. Last time, I introduced you to Amanda from Amanda Gene. You can read her personal journey here.
Mental health is an issue that needs to be talked about, no matter how difficult it might be so I put up a form on my blog asking people to share their mental health journey. I am moved by the fact these people are willing to share their stories, even though I know it isn’t easy, just to raise awareness and touch the lives of some that might really be struggling and feeling alone.
Here is Emily’s personal story about mental health, in her own words.
Do you deal with a mental illness?
Yes, Generalized Anxiety Disorder.
Help me understand what it is like to live with this?
About 75% of the time it feels as if on the outside my body is completely still but on the inside everything is moving around so fast it’s almost vibrating. Not only racing thoughts (even though those are prominent) but everything inside of me feels like it’s moving – like when you fast forward a movie. I am socially awkward most of the time, I don’t like to go places where it’s loud or crowded, and I can’t stand for strangers to touch me (even if it’s an accident). I have almost this compulsion to wipe it off.
Have you dealt with this your whole life?
No, just the past five years.
How old were you when you first got diagnosed or got help?
I was diagnosed at 28. However, I didn’t get help until 31.
What are some of the survival skills that help you get through a rough day or rough period?
Reading my Bible, praying, and getting somewhere quiet. However, if this doesn’t work I will leave if I need to.
Have you learned your triggers? Or have you learned how to spot when it is about to get bad?
Yes. Crowded places, loud places, and noises. However, panic attacks come without triggers most of the time.
What is something you can tell people that have family members with a mental illness? Is there anything they can do to help?
Be patient. They aren’t just going to “get over it”. They also won’t get help until they’re ready – don’t push it unless they’re a danger to themselves or others.
Words of advice or encouragement?
God can work wonders. He has for me. Don’t give up. Things get better. Get help – you’re stronger, not weaker for doing so.
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Thank you so much, Emily, for sharing your story with us.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10