Mental Monday - FAMILY AND FRIENDS

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At this time of year it is peak for anxiety of all types and depression, some due to Christmas and the worries of the financial strain, people who will be alone, people who worry about being with their family, without their family, stressing if they are ones cooking the Christmas lunch, worrying whether the house will be clean enough, is there enough food, the shopping, going to large work Christmas events isn’t for everyone and can see some of off over edge. Even the most unflappable of us get pushed a bit closer to the edge over the Christmas festivities.

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It’s also a bad time for the guys and gals starting out at University, they’re leaving their home for the first time, they now have to do their own cooking, washing, cleaning, find self-discipline to actually go to lectures! They have to fend for themselves now as well as trying to fit in to a new environment, they have no friends and have to make new ones, they also have the worry of paying the fees, the worry of succeeding, finding a job among thousands of other students also looking for jobs, paying the rent, keeping the ‘digs’ clean – ish! They probably never eat anything with a vitamin in it the whole time they are at Uni and their cups of tea Mum used to make them have been swapped for vodka shots! Drug use is rife and easily done as there are no parents to catch them out. So a massive change for all of those young people, in fact probably the biggest set of changes they will probably encounter in their whole lives.

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My own daughter suffered dreadfully while she was at Uni and I didn’t have a clue, she didn’t tell me, or anyone. As the depression took hold she stopped going out, eventually stopped going to classes altogether. She had no one to turn to, her boyfriend was at another Uni concentrating on his own degree 3 hours away, she had no official body to talk to and because she didn’t reach out she had no family to talk it through with her. That was 10 or 12 years ago and now things are a bit different, they are a bit moresupported by mental health charities via the University. There is nothing better than a friend or family member to talk to though.

The point of all this is that I wanted to make as many people as possible aware that if you are a student, a Christmas host, someone who is alone or someone who would rather be alone, if you’re anxious about anything, please, please reach out to someone and talk it over, it WILL save you sliding down that slippery slope into the darkness. A text, a call, facetime, facebook message, anything, I would bet all my mincepies that anyone in your family and friends circle would be more than pleased to help you talk it through, that’s what we’re here for, and I really can’t emphasise that enough.

Or if you know anyone who you think could be suffering reach out to them even if they don’t ask you, check in with them regularly, show them some love, sometimes all they need is a good chat, a listening ear with someone who understands. It doesn’t cost anything.

Love yourself, Denise x

Mental MondayDenise Kirby