The news has really made me think, with some very brave MP's admiting to the 'taboo' of having mental health conditions. bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-...
Braver than I am...and yet admitting they do not know how it will affect their careers. If they feel this way, what hope do the rest of us have. I have already lost my job...something i consider to be the result of stress due to my OCD and anxiety impacting on my workplace.
Whilst I love volunteering, and get to do a similar job that way - nature rserve wardening - I miss the responsibility and crave the social status I feel having paid employment gives you. But yet wonder if anyone will ever employ me again?....
My OCD has improved by using CBT techniques. like Charles Walker, MP I operate in fours. I have to check everything a 'multiple of four' number of times, i.e. I check my front door is locked between 32 and 80 times (but always a number which is a multiple of four) when I leave the house or go to bed. This for me is a HUGE improvement, as in Decemer 2011 I was checking it 632 times...you can just consider how early I had to leave to ensure I wasn't late for things like work! - on top of similar checks of taps, lights, electric sockets, oven, internal doors, etc. And if I lost count I had to start again, but I had to allow enough time in case this happened due to my anxiety over being late. My OCD was debilitating, totally controlled my life.
I found self-help CBT guides really hard to deal with because they talked about examples of people doing things 16 times at a maximum, and my issues seemed so far beyond this. But with the help of a conigtive behavioural therapist, I came to see that the same techniques could still work for me.
Meanwhile my sister has a physical illness, something visible to everyone. She gets the support she needs, and when she complains about pain everyone is sympathic. Often I wish my conditions were physical...so much easier to explain, excepted by society, and understood. Instead even some friends and family I have told avoid the subject totally, whilst others say at least your not physically ill like your sister as if that makes things OK, and even my Mum regularly tells me I don't feel pain...but I do its just emotional pain all wrapped up inside!
My dad is my rock and without him I'd be lost, yet even he finds it hard to understand and deal with my mental illness, and admits he thinks its worst in a way because its not as obviously or accepted as my sister's illness. That he can find it so hard I think is a reflection of how society needs to change and the 'taboo' around mental health needs to be lifted!
So I fully support and am grateful to the MP's for there stand in parliament. But I do wonder how they are feeling 'after the event' and hope that they are not filled with anxiety and depression...they are brave people and I only hope society will take notice.
Final thought, it's amazing to think one in four people suffer but because its such a 'taboo' subject most do so feeling alone.