Mental Health – the truth behind the statistics

Imagine going to bed worrying about the following day. Not being able to sleep, just tossing and turning, then worrying even more because you know you must get up early and the hours are ticking down on the clock beside your bed. Crying for no reason, feeling like nothing is ever going to get better.

Mental health, was shunned and not spoken about for years when my grandparents and even parents were growing up. Today our world is more accepting and understanding. In the recent years, among teenagers, rates of depression and anxiety have increased by 70% in the past 25 years, particularly since the mid 1980’s. Mental health can effect over forty’s, nearly a quarter of middle age woman will suffer from depression. This has increased 20% in the last fifteen years. But what has caused this increase in depression over the last fifteen years?

I’m going to research and find out the reasons behind this ever-growing epidemic which is taking over the UK. Depression is one of the biggest killers in this country but the attitude towards Mental Health is still a concern. Why isn’t more being done about this serious illness? 

“There are so many people in the UK that aren’t getting the help that they need and so ending their lives”

I spoke to Katie Thomas, who is 19 from the Isle of Wight. She has been diagnosed with Depression, Anxiety, PTSD and a Borderline Personality Disorder. I asked if she believes Mental Health is treated differently to when her parents/grandparents were growing up.

“Yes, it is treated differently but it’s still treated badly. So, we have moved on a bit through the generations with people with mental health issues as I know that when my nan was growing up they were treated really badly but there’s still a massive stigma around it and people are still treated badly. There are so many people in the UK that aren’t getting the help that they need and so ending their lives. “

Young People are suffering from Mental Health due to a range of reasons. Firstly, Education is so stressful for the young people of today. There has been an increase of work that they should do for their exams. Students are made to worry more about their grades so they can get the perfect job than their own wellbeing.

More than 16,000 young people are absent from school due to bullying. Bullying can lead to an adolescent committing suicide as it has a mental and physical impact on their health. You only have to look at a cover of a magazine or glance on social media to see how we are “meant” to look. Female and Male models are not a healthy weight and many young people feel that this is the way to look so they constantly compare their body to theirs.

I then spoke to Zenette Spence, who is 47 from Crawley. She suffers from Bipolar and conversation disorder. I asked her if she feels that mental health has changed since she was growing up.

“Definitely different now people actually listen now by the time I was 20 I had had 3 suicide attempts but got no help whereas now they offer help more. The worst thing in my mind is you never know what each day is going to be like whether you are going to be up or down. Whether you are going to feel so useless that you might as well not be here.”

Stand up to Mental Health poster.

There is a concerning rise in middle age mental health. There are many reasons for this. Firstly, they can they feel overworked and undervalued, they have to balance home, work, teenagers and elderly parents. They feel a separation anxiety where they feel they are separated from the society which tells them that the only body and face they should have is a young one. They are also bombarded of images of how they should be living their life, what car they should be having and where they should live. When their children move out, they feel down with their life completely changed. For the last 18 years, they have been parents looking after their babies and now they are old enough and ready to move on with their life. They don’t feel needed anymore and that they don’t have a purpose.

“The worst thing in my mind is you never know what each day is going to be like whether you are going to be up or down.”

They can also have mental health issues from when they were young, which has carried on through their life. It can be made worse by events such as a miscarriage, loss of relative or a relationship that doesn’t work anymore.

With the coming election, Theresa May of the Conservative party promises to end Mental Health injustice and employ 10,000 staff to be trained in Mental Health.  Jeremy Corbyn from the Labour Party also promises to make Mental Health a priority. Something needs to be done to help end the distress. This month is Mental Health Awareness month. Let’s support and help anyone who has experienced mental health issues to not have to suffer in silence.