October is Mental Health Awareness Month

Everyone has an opinion about mental health, but these opinions are normally based on myths and
add to the stigma and make life generally harder for people affected by mental illness.

First things first, MENTAL ILLNESS IS REAL!

Researching of mental illness is still ongoing, the knowledge of how deep mental illness goes is
incomplete however one thing is for certain:

  • mental illness isn’t laziness
  • it’s not attention seeking
  • it’s not a bad diet
  • it’s not a failure as a person.

Mental illness is an illness. It is just as real as cancer.

There is no immunity to mental illness.

That doesn’t mean you will develop a mental illness during your life but it also doesn’t mean that
you won’t.

More than 43% of us WILL experience a mental illness during our lives and that’s just anxiety, mood
disorders and substance addictions in people aged 16 – 85!!!

At least 20% of adults are affected by mental illness every year!!

That’s right NO ONE is immune to mental illness, it’s not a child “acting out”.

Most adults will experience anxiety disorders first, followed by depression. A significant number are
also affected by personality disorders and a big one is eating disorders!

YES an eating disorder is a mental illness!!

There is no 1 cause for mental illness, how nice would it be if it was that simple!

Mental illness show’s up in different way’s in everyone. Some people have trouble leaving their
house while other’s struggle with silence and there is no right or wrong.

You can’t tell if someone has a mental illness by just looking at them with your eyes, they don’t walk
around with big signs saying “I have a mental illness” most people don’t even like to admit that they
do have an illness.

Every person is unique, just like each treatment for mental illness is unique and customized to the
individual. Some people have fidget spinners, some have toy’s with different textures, while others
have animals as apart of their treatment.

There is no treatment that is better than the other, for example: one person suffering from PTSD
may have great results by having a service dog but for someone who was possibly attacked or who
genuinely doesn’t like dog’s you wouldn’t go and get them a service dog you might get them a rabbit
they can cuddle or try a completely different treatment all together that doesn’t include animals at
all.

My name is Kat and I am someone who has an ABI (Acquired Brain Injury) and suffers greatly with
mental illnesses including PTSD, anxiety and a couple of other fancy medical terms.

I open my mouth and speak from the heart as someone who has been labelled more times than a
clearance item on the shelf as an “attention seeker, manipulator, comfortable and lazy” it doesn’t
get easier hearing it but you do slowly get used to it.

There is no 1 super cure out there but there are services and people who are willing to help! You just
need to be able to open your mouth and say “okay”.

For myself personally I train in my gym, eat good foods, journal, keep my social circle small to
inspiring and supporting people and I have my super pup Meeko who is in training as a service dog.