Time to Talk by Fiona Brown
If we lived in a world like something from a science fiction novel where we could go for a full body scan at any time that would tell us what was physically and mentally wrong, which would be followed up with a customised pill to cure whatever was wrong with us, would we live differently to how we do now? Would we be free from bullying and abuse or jealousy and envy? How would we define or set limits to what a normal human body should and should not be capable of? Would a human being’s blueprint be just like we read about in science textbooks? What about individualism? Would we see that as dangerous as all should look and feel the same with a hive mind? Is being different being abnormal?
The world we do live in is still very stigmatised when it comes to mental health. Despite COVID and lockdowns showing many how debilitating and frustrating living with depression and/or anxiety can be. However, there are other conditions that many people believe the Hollywood or soap opera version of them. People cannot just ‘snap out of it’, as events can leave scars that may not be visible, but inside are ripping people apart days to weeks and months to years later, reliving those times again and again without them ever stopping. Others may have a brain whose chemistry is out of sync, so need medication for it to function, just as we may take insulin for diabetes.
Today is ‘Time to Talk Day’ – a chance to start those conversations that for some are so difficult to begin as do not know how, and/or scared they will say the wrong thing. Equally, for those of us that face the battles daily it can be hard to find the courage to ask for help, as do not know whose hand will grab ours back, and those that will push us under to drown us. Make time to talk to others, ask them “are you ok”. Even if it is only five minutes, as those five minutes can make the difference between feeling like nobody cares, to someone listened and does cares. Equally, by talking we can end these Hollywood myths, and show the person not the illness.